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The Lazy Cook's Guide to Winter Veggies

January 13, 2014

Siobhan Adcock

Ever tried roasting a whole cauliflower head? Turns out there are some big benefits to roasting collies this way as opposed to breaking the head into florets first. After being roasted whole, a cauliflower head releases its florets so easily you can break them off with a mere pinch of the fingers—all the better to serve as an easy first course with a tangy dip, as in the Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Cheese recipe pictured above, from Domenica Restaurant in New Orleans. Plus, popping a whole head of cauliflower in the oven with minimal prep is just easier. (And we like easier.) 

Carrots. One of the many mindblowing revelations in food writer and researcher Jo Robinson’s Eating on the Wild Side is that carrots and beets get more nutritious when roasted. It also turns out that carrots, like many veggies, are more nutritious when cooked whole than when chopped up. See? There are benefits to being a little bit lazy. And Roasted Carrots with Dill is just as flavor-packed as it is nutrient-packed.

Beets. My personal aversion to beets is perhaps a little too well-documented, but those who love ‘em swear by the whole-roasted method (and even I could be tempted to try this garlicky roasted beet recipe).

Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes. Scrub, season, poke, wrap, roast. If there is an easier or tastier winter side dish, it’s hard to imagine what it could be. (I like The Kitchn’s method but there are as many ways to roast a potato as there are to skin a…potato.)

Squash. Peeling and chopping squash? Who wants to do that? Doesn’t anybody else have TV shows they want to binge-watch on demand? You can just roast the thing whole in the oven and do all the chopping and peeling afterward, when the squash is soft. You’re welcome. Now go catch up on Masters of Sex so you can be properly infuriated by Lizzy Caplan’s Golden Globes snub before the awards show this weekend.

Pumpkin. You have to hollow it out first, but even a pumpkin can be roasted whole. This lovely Roast Pumpkin Stuffed with Vegetable Stew makes a crowd-pleasing warm-up course for a winter dinner party. What other veggies have you cooked just by sticking ‘em in the oven whole?