So-called oven-frying is a great shortcut for saving the fuss and mess of deep-frying. But with vegetables, the results too often are disappointingly limp. The exception is potatoes, the natural starches of which crisp under high heat. But it turns out that replicating that effect with less starchy vegetables, such as cauliflower or sweet potatoes, is easy if you give them a light coating of cornstarch before roasting.

That’s because cornstarch is composed of nearly one-third amylose starch, which crisps when exposed to oil and high heat. The technique (which works best on low-­moisture produce) is simple, yielding wonderfully crisp, browned results. Start by heating an oiled baking sheet at 425°F. The hot pan helps the vegetables brown and crisp immediately and evenly. Next, toss the produce (which should be cut into small chunks or thin slices) with oil, then with cornstarch; the coating should be light, almost just a dusting, not clumped or thick. Be sure to shake off any excess.

When you arrange the vegetables on the baking sheet, don’t overcrowd, which promotes steaming. Cook in batches if you must. Finally, flip the vegetables only once, halfway through cooking, so they develop more of a crust.

This also is an excellent way to add flavor; seasoning the cornstarch with any finely ground spice ensures bold, even flavor. In addition to cauliflower and sweet potatoes, this technique works well with carrots, rings of red onion and cubes of winter squash.