Have you ever noticed that many recipes will specifically say, “don’t overcrowd your pan” or it suggests cooking in multiple batches? What if you are in a hurry and just want to get it done? Tough cookies! If you want your food to cook evenly & you want that delicious layer of caramelization or browning that makes food taste so good (trust me, you do), you’ve got to give your food some space.
Why? If your food is too close together, like chicken or steak in a skillet or veggies on a sheet pan, the food will steam instead of roast properly, thus creating inadequate caramelization. SO, space it out, out, out…caramelizationnnnnnnn. (Pardon the bad late 80’s Caramello commercial reference. I couldn’t help it.)
Start with this:
End up with this:
P.S. These roasted rainbow carrots are one of my favorite side dishes. They are nutty, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Plus, they are SUPER easy to make and kid-friendly. Spread cut carrots on a sheet pan covered in parchment or foil (see above pic). Drizzle with olive oil, a few pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, tossing halfway through. Sprinkle with Italian parsley and serve.