Cooking a batch of roasted vegetables isn't exactly hard, but it is tricky to get them tasting as if they have been made by a professional. But now one cookbook author has revealed the secret to getting them perfectly, evenly roasted every single time. The key to great roasted veg is to make sure the oven and the fat you cook your vegetables in is as hot as possible. So it's very important where you place your roasting tray in the oven.
To ensure the outside of your vegetables are beautifully charred while the insides remain deliciously soft, you should place your tray on the bottom of the oven, according to New York and San Diego-based food writer Carolynn Carreño in her book Bowls of Plenty.
Placing them on the oven floor rather than on the bottom rack of the oven apparently 'means you can get your vegetables nice and caramelized without overcooking them,' the author says. The oven floor 'provides the hottest, most even and direct heat possible,' explains Carolynn, which is why it is perfect for roasting vegetables.
She bakes two sheet trays of vegetables, one on the oven floor and the other on a rack in the middle, at a whopping 260°C for about 20 minutes, switching their position halfway through the cooking time.
She says this technique makes sure they are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, and keeps the vegetables vibrant.
For the best caramelisation, don't use tin foil or parchment paper to line the tray with - just make sure you scoop up all that charred vegetable that will inevitably get stuck to the tray.
However you must make sure you check that your oven can support a large tray on the floor of the appliance, particularly if your tray is heavy, as not all can.
If you can't, Carolynn says you should just put your tray as close to the bottom of the oven as you can.