You probably already know that roasting winter vegetables turns them soft, caramelized and irresistible. But what you might not know is that tossing them with a three-ingredient dressing of miso paste, lime juice and walnut oil gives them a savory, bright and beguiling flavor that will make people wonder why the roasted vegetables you make are so much better than the roasted vegetables they make.
What makes a recipe a keeper? The recipes I make again and again are the ones that are greater than the sum of their parts, the ones that elevate humble ingredients into a dish simple enough for a weeknight dinner and tasty enough to serve to guests. Though it may look humble, this recipe is more special than just a plate of roasted vegetables -- it's the definition of "a keeper."
It's also incredibly flexible. Not only does the dressing taste good with roasted winter vegetables; it also elevates grilled vegetables in the summer and tastes great tossed with warm cooked grains like quinoa. Nothing about it screams miso or walnut. Instead, it just has a fresh, nutty, umami character that brings out the best in even the plainest ingredients. I consider it a secret weapon in the kitchen. Try it and see if you agree!
Roasted Winter Vegetables with Miso-Lime Dressing
8 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1 medium sweet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium head of cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow miso paste
2 tablespoons walnut oil
Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange three baking racks, evenly spaced, in the oven. (If you only have two racks or two baking sheets, bake the vegetables in batches rather than crowd them onto two baking sheets.)
Place brussels sprouts, sweet potato and cauliflower on separate rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and toss to thoroughly coat. Bake, turning every 10-15 minutes, until browned and soft, about 15 minutes for the brussels sprouts and 25 minutes for the sweet potato and cauliflower.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the lime juice and miso paste until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the walnut oil, whisking constantly, until thoroughly combined.
Place the roasted vegetables in a large bowl, pour in the dressing and toss to coat. Season with black pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
• In the summer, try this recipe with grilled vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, even kale) instead of roasted.
• To turn this recipe into a main dish, double the dressing and use it to season cooked grains, such as quinoa, brown rice or barley. Mix dressed grains with the dressed vegetables.
(Images: Anjali Prasertong)