Roasting is one of my favorite ways to cook vegetables. I love how you just toss everything on a baking sheet, walk away, and come back to beautifully browned veggies that have so much more flavor than you would get with blanching or sautéing alone.
The most basic seasonings for roasted veggies are oil, salt, and pepper, but here are some other easy ways to flavor them if you want to change things up!
You can add extra flavor to the vegetables before or after roasting, depending on which method you choose. Here are our favorites.
1. Toss with citrus.
Citrus is the secret weapon that perks up all the toasty flavors of roasted vegetables with bright flavor. Use the zest and juice of limes, lemons, or oranges; remember that citrus flavors are at their most potent when not cooked, so if you really want to taste the citrus, put it on the finished roasted vegetables rather than in the beginning.
2. Use a flavored oil.
If you usually use olive oil to roast vegetables, give a flavored oil (like garlic), nut, or even coconut oil a try instead. These oils can add an extra layer of flavor, and with some of them, like roasted sesame oil, you can just drizzle a little on the roasted vegetables right before serving to preserve some of the unique flavor.
3. Add a glaze.
Adding a sweet element, like honey or maple syrup, to vegetables before roasting means that sugars can caramelize and turn into a nice, shiny glaze. A glaze works especially well with earthier vegetables, like turnips and Brussels sprouts. You can also make a glaze on the stovetop while the vegetables are roasting and just toss everything together when the roasting's done.
4. Roast with bacon.
Bacon, delicious bacon! Chop some up, toss with the vegetables, and roast all together. The bacon fat helps the vegetables brown; everything gets a smoky, salty flavor; and you'll end up with crispy bacon bits to munch on, too. You can also use just bacon fat instead of oil to coat your vegetables before roasting.
5. Drizzle with dressings.
Salad dressings work with more than just salads! Just drizzling some of your favorite dressing onto roasted vegetables makes it a much more interesting dish, especially when the warm vegetables get a chance to soak in some extra flavor.
More About Roasting Vegetables
(Image credits: Faith Durand)