I love roasted root veggies. Last year I really started to have a crush on turnips and radishes because roasting turns them into something mouth-watering. I’m sure you’ll fall in love with them too!
You can roast veggies in the slow cooker or oven depending on your preference. You’ll have more wiggle room time-wise in the slow cooker and it’s much harder to burn them. That alone may help you make your choice.
Remember that the size you cut the veggies will change the cooking time. I like to cut mine small so they cook up faster. Cooking up a batch over the weekend can yield great dinners all week long like pizza, soups, and hash.
In The Oven:
I roasted the root veggies in the oven 2 different ways, one covered with aluminum foil and one not covered. I cooked both on a 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes. I stirred them both half way so they would be evenly cooked.
I found the one that I covered (until the last 10 or 15 minutes of cooking) to be juicy and lush. I liked the uncovered ones too but the texture was a little tougher and they took about 10 more minutes longer. It just depends on what you like the best.
In The Slow Cooker:
Roasting in the slow cooker is super easy. You can cook them on high for about 2 hours on high or low for about 4. Just oil the crock and place a layer or two of chopped or diced root veggies. You want to fill it less than 1/2 way if possible. I use one of my 6 quart ovals just so the veggies aren’t crowded. Stir these about half-way through cooking too.
Just how long you’ll cook the veggies depend on how big you cut them. I’d recommend cutting them smaller for the slow cooker and stirring every 30 to 45 minutes so they cook evenly. They are ready to eat when a fork pierces the veggies easily.
My first batch contained turnip, rutabaga, purple potatoes, carrots and radishes. I’ve been saving up radishes from my csa because I just didn’t know what to do with them. When you roast them they lost that spicy edge and became sweet and juicy. It was a revelation for me.
I would suggest you don’t add sweet potatoes into the mix though they will roast great on their own. They break down before the other veggies in a mix are done. You’ll end up with chunks of roasted veggies in what is basically mashed sweet potato.
The first recipe I made with these yummy veggies was a pizza. It’s not really an exact recipe but it’s super easy. All you need is some pizza dough, a pizza shell, or something else to build your pizza on.
I used a vegan cashew spread from The Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas as my base, but the cashew ricotta recipe below will work great too! Then I topped it with the roasted veggies and sprinkled arugula pesto over the whole pizza. I cooked it in a 375 degree oven until the crust was cooked since I used raw pizza dough. If you used a pre-cooked pizza shell you will cook it about 7 to 10 minutes or until the center is hot.
Kathy Hester is the author of The Vegan Slow Cooker and HealthySlowCooking.com. Her second book, The Great Vegan Bean Book, is available for pre-order on Amazon and now you can pre-order her third book which comes out this fall, Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just You!