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Agrodolce Is The Vibrant Flavor To Upgrade Your Favorite Veggies

assorted grilled vegetables on a plate
assorted grilled vegetables on a plate - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

If you're a food lover, you're probably aware of the five major tastes. Cuisines around the world feature these tastes in tantalizing and complementary combinations. A case in point is agrodolce, the Italian term for sweet and sour that is embodied by its namesake condiment. The unfettered complexity makes it a useful condiment to spread on sandwiches, brush over grilled meats, and, of course, upgrade your favorite vegetables.

The combination of sweet and sour is pervasive, inspiring a wide range of global recipes from pan-Asian sweet and sour sauces to French gastrique. Agrodolce uses a foundation of sugar or honey and vinegar to which dried fruit, pine nuts, and an array of aromatics and spices are added. Sweet and sour is the overriding flavor theme, but bits of dried fruit, pine nuts, shallots, and garlic provide diverse tasting notes and exciting textural contrasts.

A burst of sweet and sour flavors along with a nutty, aromatic crunch and fruity chew is the perfect complement for cooked and raw vegetables alike. It'll add a sticky glaze to grilled or roasted vegetables. It's also the perfect dressing for a crunchy slaw or salad. It's a condiment that you can prepare in advance and store in the fridge to season a cooked vegetable side, drizzle over a main course salad, or even slather into a vegetable sandwich like Tasting Table's roasted broccoli rabe and grilled cheese.

Read more: Vinegar Cooking Hacks You'll Wish You Knew Sooner

Variations Of Agrodolce And Vegetable Pairings

honey and balsamic glazed roasted brussels sprouts in a bowl
honey and balsamic glazed roasted brussels sprouts in a bowl - LauriPatterson/Getty Images

Agrodolce has numerous varieties, making it a versatile condiment with a wide range of flavors that you can use to your advantage when pairing it with vegetables. You can choose from different types of vinegar, dried fruits, sweeteners, and seasonings to create the perfect complement to the vegetable in question.

For example, a sweeter balsamic vinegar and honey agrodolce with golden raisins would work really well with bitter vegetables like roasted brussels sprouts, parsnips, grilled asparagus, or arugula. If you want to play up the fruitiness in agrodolce, use apple cider vinegar and honey with dried apricots. A fruitier agrodolce would taste delicious drizzled over nutty roasted cauliflower or to accompany a tahini sauce over freshly baked sweet potatoes. This Tasting Table recipe for sweet and spicy hasselback squash adds fresno chilies to agrodolce to infuse sweet and savory butternut squash with a trifecta of sweet, spicy, and sour flavors.

Dried cranberries and capers would make for a more sour agrodolce to use as a dipping sauce for grilled vegetables. It would temper the spiciness of grilled jalapenos, poblanos, and onions. You can use agrodolce as a grilling glaze to brush over zucchini and eggplant on the grill. Sweet and sour is the best compliment for the smoky bitterness of grilled vegetables. Agrodolce would also be a great glaze for roasted or grilled corn, complementing the smoky char while enhancing its sweet, juicy kernels.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.