My original idea for this post was to make a salad, but sometimes the simplest things are the best. Freshly harvested broccoli and carrots are tossed with a good quality extra virgin olive oil, salt, freshly ground black pepper and my favorite ingredient to add to the roasting mix, aleppo pepper. Aleppo pepper, as I have mentioned before in a previous post is one of my favorite new ingredients of the past several years. It is dark red in color, flaky and somewhat oily in texture. It’s flavor profile is rich, sweet and fruity with hints of cumin. Aleppo’s heat profile is moderate, only just a little hotter than paprika.
Begin by cutting your vegetables in relatively uniform pieces; in this case; the broccoli in individual florets and carrots in one inch lengths so they will roast in the same time as the broccoli. Remember that vegetables shrink when roasting so always cook more than what you might if you were steaming or sautéing.
Although some recipes have you do it right in the pan, vegetables are more evenly oiled and seasoned in a bowl . Use just enough oil to give an even coating, about two tablespoons for this quantity should be enough. Season generously with salt, freshly ground pepper and whatever herb you might choose. In addition to Aleppo pepper, I have used paprika, chipotle pepper, cumin, thyme, it all depends on what compliments your vegetables best.
Roasting should always be done on a large shallow sided sheet pan. The ones I use are called “half size” and have a 18″x13″ dimension. They are relatively inexpensive and available in most big box stores. I consider them indispensible and have about a dozen from my catering days. Using a pan or baking dish with high sides will cause them to steam rather that roast because of the high water content of vegetables.
Give the vegetables room for roasting, everything should be in a single layer on the pan with a little room between each piece. I like to roast on a relatively high heat, 425°F to 450°F to insure they will caramelize on the outside and be nice and tender on the inside. I like to stir or shake the pan every five minutes or so to roast every surface. Time may vary for desired doneness, that’s why I check them frequently. The larger your pieces are, the longer it will take them to cook.
For a finishing touch to my roasted vegetables I added some cashews and a little fresh cilantro. In this case, simple was the best.
Oven Roasted Broccoli and Carrots
- 1 large head of broccoli, florets chopped off the stalk, about 6-7 cups
- 3 medium carrots, cut in half and into 1″ lengths
- 2-3T extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3t kosher salt
- 2t freshly ground black pepper
- 1t Aleppo pepper
- 1/4c unsalted cashews
- 1/4c cilantro leaves
- Preheat oven to 425°F.In a large bowl, toss the vegetables together with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Transfer vegetables to a large sheet pan, spreading them out evenly.
- Roast vegetables, shaking the pan every five minutes or so to be certain all surfaces are roasted. My vegetables were very fresh and took about 15 minutes total to cook. Your time may vary.
- Transfer vegetables to a serving bowl. Garnish with cashews and cilantro.