Caramelize. That's a lovely food word. I get a kick out of how often it's used today, in reference to everything from onions and carrots, to steaks and hamburgers.
It means browned, sweet, intense flavor!
Which is why I've gotten to oven roasting my potatoes and other vegetables more often than cooking them in water or with the roasted meat. I want that browned crisp edge possibility!
You can use nearly any vegetable you can think of in this basic recipe. Really - broccoli, wedges of greens like romaine or cabbage, everybody in the onion-leek-garlic family, all the roots, corn, tomatoes - anything!
The temperature I always use is 375. One or two large, rimmed baking sheets and a knife and cutting board are the only equipment you'll need.
The other constant for me is extra virgin olive oil. Butter would burn, so I don't use that.
Do you have fresh herbs in your garden? Pick them and use them! Today I used garlic chives and oregano. I've used thyme, parsley, sage, mint, lemon balm, regular chives, rosemary and more in the past.
The recipe I made tonight follows. Use more or less of whatever you like. Roast at 375 for about 45 minutes, depending on how soft or hearty your veggies are. Stir them once or twice during the cooking time.
Oven Roasted Potatoes and Vegetables
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
6 large carrots, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 large onion, peeled, and halved, then cut into wedges
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
freshly snipped garlic chives (2 tablespoons)
handful of fresh oregano, coarsely chopped
Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl, or directly on the baking sheet. Spread in a single layer. Roast at 375 for 40-45 minutes, stirring once or twice to ensure even cooking.