roasted roots

In the zillion years we've been using heat to cook food, how is uncertainty possible when it comes to roasting vegetables?

Listening to a recent @atkradio podcast, Chris Kimball asks Mario Batali for his favorite goto fast dish.  Batali describes a bunch of 1-2" square chopped vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper roasted at 425F for 30 minutes.  In my hands, using mostly root vegetables, this yielded an inconsistently cooked bunch of veggies.

Slowing things down a bit, I used an enamel-coated steel pan filled with root vegetables (yellow beats, russets, carrots, green onions), roughly 1" cubed and tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin (peppercorns and cumin crushed coarse) and some rosemary.  This was baked at 325F for almost an hour and a half (no convection) and was followed by the addition of a coarse chopped plum tomato and baked for an addtional 20 minutes. This produced a uniformly cooked bunch of veggies with plenty of tooth and some crunchy bits.  A great meal where no one noticed the absence of meat.

feel free to click and see the englarged and still unfocused decadence