Roasted Veggies: Brussel Sprouts, Potatoes, and Broccoli

Especially when it’s cold (today: 27 outside), I think of roasted vegetables.  They’re  a staple side for me, and I’m always surprised when I tell people how to do it, and they tell me they didn’t know it was so easy!  (Lauren, I’m talking to you!)

There are 3 components for roasted vegetables in my world: a 400 degree oven, sea or kosher salt, and olive oil.  (Although these days I’m using olive oil cooking spray to save on calories – with mixed results detailed below.) 

The basic instructions are the same:

  • cut your veggies to 1-bite sized pieces
  • toss in just enough olive oil to coat lightly
  • sprinkle liberally with sea or kosher salt
  • spread on a cookie sheet in a single layer and cook for about 45 minutes to an hour, taking out halfway through to toss so that your veggies brown evenly.

Easy.  Simple.  Delicious.  Healthy.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
I heart Brussel sprouts.  I would eat them 5 times a week.  Yes, they get a bad rap, but I think it’s mainly because they are a little stinky when you boil them.   My Aunt Liz (and sisters) make their Brussel sprouts sauteed in a pan with a little brown butter and pancetta/bacon, topped with Parmesan.  Yum-o!  I, however, take the easiest route and roast them: wash and cut in half length-wise, plop on a cookie sheet, spray with olive oil spray (works great on them!), sprinkle with salt, press Bake and Start.  (And that last direction, by the way, was the extent of my father’s cooking instruction to us: you press Bake and Start.  He’s an awesome cook.)


I cook mine for about 55 minutes because I like them pretty crispy.  You can check for doneness at about 40 minutes or so if you like them a little more green.


Incidentally, don’t overload your baking sheet so much that it buckles, causing all your sprouts to fall off and land on the floor of your 400 degree oven.  It’s not pretty, and the smell of burning olive oil and Brussel sprouts isn’t fun for anyone and does not make you look like a great cook in front of future in-laws. 

Roasted Potatoes
The great thing about roasted potatoes is that you can fool a 9-year-old into thinking they’re homemade french fries.  And said fooled 9-year-old can get in a serving of vegetables without knowing it.  Mix white potatoes (I like using red potatoes) with a sweet potato and you can even add beta carotene to your meal, putting you in the running for Mother of the Year.


These work just fine with the olive oil spray too!

Roasted Broccoli
I have a confession: I don’t like broccoli.  If you serve it to me steamed, it’s getting the one obligatory bite and then headed to the le garbage.  Boiled?  Blech.  But roasted?  Hmmm…I’ll have seconds!

For roasted broccoli you really need to toss it in olive oil, and not use the spray.  Put all of your little florets in a large plastic ziplock bag, use about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, zip and shake!  (And I helped) 


Any of these are great and easy for a side dish – play with adding Old Bay or Tony Chachere’s to your potatoes, explore the world of Brussel sprouts as an adult, and go back for seconds on broccoli – who knew it was so easy?!


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