Roasting is one of the simples ways to prepare veggies. Just mix with a little olive oil and toss in a pan. Using high ehat draws out the natural sugars in the vegetables, softening and mellowing them to perfect tenderness. Another bonus—you can change their flavor almost as quickly as you change your mind.
Substitute 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning and 5 cloves of garlic, chopped, for the thyme leaves. Omit the red bell pepper and parsnips, and use 2 large tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges, and 8 oz. whole mushrooms.
Substitute 1 to 2 teaspoons Caribbean jerk seasoning for the thyme leaves. Omit the red bell pepper, carrots and parsnips, and use 2 sweet potatoes each cut into 8 pieces. Stir in 3 zucchini, each cut into 1-inch slices, after the first 15 minutes of roasting.
Fresh parsnips are available year-round, with the peak period in fall and winter. Look for small to medium, well-shaped roots; avoid limp, shriveled or spotted parsnips. Refrigerate parsnips in a food-storage plastic bag up to 2 weeks.
If you're roasting a variety of veggies at once, they may not all be done at the same time. Be prepared to remove some from the oven before others.