A pizza stone, otherwise known as a baking stone, is a useful and versatile kitchen tool every home cook should stash vertically in some cabinet where you won’t forget about it. But the high, dry surface heat is also great for roasting vegetables like you’ve never done before.

I’ve found that direct contact with the hot stone keeps things crisp, moist and perfectly cooked. Steaming is great, but you won’t get that delicious roasty char on the outside of the vegetables. Sauteeing is always quick and effective, but you risk limp veggies due to water escaping in the form of steam, which quickly makes them more susceptible to overcooking.

Here’s how you do it: heat the stone in the oven at 375 for 15 minutes. Place blanched, lightly olive-oiled veggies like leeks, parsnips, asparagus and even potatoes (but definitely no beets if you don’t want giant unremovable pink stains on your nice kitchenware) directly on the stone. Roast until tender and starting to turn golden-brown, turning once, about 10-15 minutes. You’ll be delighted with the results, especially if you plunk them on top of the pizza you make after the veggies.

More Hacks of the Day on Food Republic: