Roasting is a dry heat method of cooking. Hot air surrounds the food at a temperature of at least 400 F and often much higher which creates browning or the Maillard Reaction on the surface of the food which enhances the flavor.
Roasting can be done in an oven, open flame or other heat source such as a spit. The goal in roasting food is to retain as much moisture as possible.
While baking and roasting seem quite similar especially when you turn on your oven, they are actually very different.
1. Structure of the food. This is the primary factor that sets these cooking methods apart. Roasting involves cooking foods that already have a solid structure before the cooking process begins (think, meat and vegetables). Baking involves that lack structure early on, then become solid and lose their "empty space" during the cooking (think, cakes and muffins).
2. Temperature. Various sources note that the temperature setting on the oven also distinguishes these two cooking method. Roasting requires a higher temperature (400 degrees F and above) to create a browned, flavorful "crust" on the outside of the food being cooked, while baking occurs at lower oven temperatures (usually 350-375 F).
3. Fat content. While many baked goods contain fat within, an outer coating of fat, such as vegetables or meat brushed with olive oil, is an indicator of roasting
I love roasting vegetables. Sometimes simple is best and just a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and lots of black pepper make a simple vegetable come alive.
If you are roasting several types of vegetables, I recommend roasting them on separate pans as each vegetable has its own water content and density. I also recommend cutting vegetables to uniform sizes so that they roast at the same rate.
This Roasted Carrot With Harissa And Toasted Pistachios recipe is the perfected recipe is try out this roasting technique.
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