It will give your favorite roasted veggies a glow-up.
There’s one tool in my kitchen that gets used almost daily: my sheet pan. Lined with parchment paper and loaded with delicious ingredients, it consistently delivers meal after satisfying meal.
My favorite thing to make on a sheet pan is roasted vegetables for dinner or a week of meal prep. I like the way vegetables like carrots, parsnips, celery root, and beets take on a little char in a hot oven, amplifying their natural sweetness and making them fork-tender. Whether roasting root vegetables, broccoli florets, or halved Brussels sprouts, I have a trick for making sure every single bite is loaded with flavor: Before I pop that sheet pan in the oven, I toss the veggies with a vinaigrette.
The idea to use vinaigrette for roasting vegetables came from my farmer friend Autumn, and in my experience, any time a farmer tells you the best way to cook something, you should listen.
Over the summer, Autumn suggested that I try marinating summer squash in a vinaigrette before tossing them on the grill. The squash emerged from the grill bright and delicious. It was a revelation! This brilliant suggestion inspired me to give roasted vegetables the vinaigrette treatment, and the trick has yet to fail me.
How To Upgrade Roasted Veggies With a Vinaigrette
No matter what vinaigrette-veggie combo I choose, the method is the same: Toss the vegetables in a small amount of vinaigrette—about 1/4 cup at most per pound of vegetables—and let them hang out for five to 10 minutes to give them a chance to soak through. Then use your hands to scoop them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast at 400°F until caramelized and tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the veggies.
What Kind of Vinaigrette To Use
The type of vinaigrette I use depends on the vegetables I'm roasting. Because we eat a lot of salads in my house, I usually have a few jars of homemade vinaigrette in the fridge. If not, I always have the ingredients to quickly whip one up. My favorite vinaigrette is a simple combination of chopped shallots, Dijon mustard, champagne vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil. I combine everything but the oil and then drizzle in the oil slowly while whisking to emulsify the dressing.
My standard vinaigrette works well for just about anything, especially sweet potatoes and parsnips, which are already a little on the sweeter side.
I’ll riff on my go-to vinaigrette depending on what I have on hand and what I’m planning to cook. Maybe I’ll substitute balsamic vinegar if I’m looking for something a little sweeter, or I’ll use whole-grain mustard if I want the pop of mustard seeds.
A whole-grain mustard vinaigrette is good on roasted carrots, while a balsamic version brightens up beets beautifully. It’s fun to play around and come up with different combinations because there are no wrong answers.
Tips for Marinating Roasted Veggies With a Vinaigrette
This is a pretty straightforward technique, so there’s not much that can go wrong, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Don't Drown Your Veggies: You don't need a ton of dressing; rather, the opposite is true. Use about 1/4 cup for a pound of vegetables. You need just enough to add some flavor. Too much moisture and your veggies will steam rather than roast, which means they won't caramelize.
Store-Bought Is Fine: While I prefer to use a homemade vinaigrette, you could use a store-bought vinaigrette. Brands I like and recommend include Annie’s Balsamic Vinaigrette, Ken’s Steakhouse Greek Dressing, and Good Seasonings Italian Dressing. When using store-bought, check the ingredients for added sugars, which can burn in the oven. You can still use it, just keep an eye on the veggies as they roast.
Read the original article on Simply Recipes.