Roasted vegetables are a simple and efficient way to whip up a meal in no time or a side to a delicious cut of meat of your choosing. But sometimes, it seems that the process and the taste are just ‘been there, tasted that’ territory. Isn’t it about time for an upgrade?
The good news is this: you don’t have to complicate things for yourself and switch things up completely when it comes to your roasted vegetables. Especially if you don’t have the time, the patience, or the money for that. But you can take a few simple steps to upgrade this dish from a Cinderella, to the Belle of the ball.
Just try these, and you might actually feel a craving for the new and improved potatoes, broccoli, turnips, squash, and yams. Your meals will become more satisfying and you don’t have to strain yourself too much to do it!
5 tips and tricks to step up your roasted vegetables game
1. Try to use another fat for roasting
Olive oil isn’t that great for roasting, so how about setting it aside for some other type of fat? Like butter, which not only is better for that kind of heat you require, but it also changes the flavor profile of your veggies. The butter will caramelize in the oven and your taste buds will be delighted.
You can also try these: peanut oil, corn oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, sunflower seed oil, and sesame oil. Experiment with them and you will see that each of them literally brings something new to the table.
2. Spice up your vegetables
Your spice rack is the old reliable, but I’m pretty sure that there are many spices out there you haven’t even tried until now. Why wait? Dip into the spice aisle at your local supermarket and grab the first thing that catches your eye.
Try the Pasilla de Oaxaca Chile, a smoked chile which has a deep smoky flavor. Or harissa, a Tunisian mixture of spices, chiles, and tomatoes. The world of spices can now be your oyster. All you have to do is try.
3. Use more garlic
If you’re looking to roast some vegetables, take full advantage of the intense flavor garlic can bring to the table. Add some garlic cloves to your vegetables and let them bake to perfection. The smell might drive you insane with craving – this always happens to me. But it’s not until you taste one of those cloves that your world might change forever!
Try more garlic with your Brussels sprouts, especially since experience has taught me that there can never be enough ways to give them ampler flavor.
4. Flip the vegetables
It’s usually much easier to just stick the tray with the vegetables in the oven and go about your business until you know they are cooked. But consider trying this: flip the vegetables on the tray halfway through the cook time, for better browning and cooking all the way through. When I flip them, I also drizzle some more oil or add a bit more butter for extra flavor, on all sides!
5. Add some finishing touches
Once the vegetables are cooked, and hot, and you remove them from the oven, add a finishing touch! It can be soy sauce, a bit of rice wine vinegar, or some honey. Or you could play up the contrasts between the cooked, soft veggies and some other fresh or crunchy ingredient. Like some fresh chives or roasted walnuts.