Balsamic roasted root vegetables make for an excellent holiday side dish!
On a food blog called, The Roasted Root, you would think there would be at least one recipe for…oh…I don’t know…roasted roots.
There have been roots, there have been roasted veggies, but the roasted root-only recipe is making its debut. Boo for my tardiness, hoorah for a great healthy recipe.
First item of business: roots. Roots are extremely high in nutrients, which is one reason I am drawn to them. Being the proud sweet toothed, eat-my-emotions woman that I am, another reason I love roots is most of them are very usable in baked recipes. You can banana bread them; you can muffin them; you can pie them; you can cake them. If there’s a vegetable variety you should do, do roots. What are root vegetables, you ask? Carrots, beets, rutabagas, turnips, sweet potato, yam, ginger. And more.
Second item of business: roasting. This is where we break it down. Roasting is smart because it brings out the flavor in vegetables that people think vegetables lack. If you want your child to like vegetables, roast the vegetables. There are some basics I can relay to you about roasting vegetables.
- Variety. Roasting cauliflower with asparagus with sweet potato works. You wouldn’t think it does, but it does. Trust.
- Season. You know those spices and seasonings you just love on everything? Put them on your vegetables before you roast them.
- Casserole dish. Some people roast using a baking sheet but I like my veggies to get cozy. They help each other steam and the flavors come together in a magical way.
- Oil. Because veggies are low in fat, you’ll need to add a little fat to not only keep them from burning but to also add flavor. I use olive oil or grapseed oil. Experimenting with infused oils (such as lemon, basil, or jalapeño-infused oils) is smart.
- Salt. If you think vegetables are gross, it’s not their fault. Add salt if you need more flavor; you’d be surprised how different food tastes with a little salt.
- Temperature. Roasting at 375 or above is the way to go. If you roast at too low a temperature, your vegetables may end up mushy yet still undercooked in the middle.
- A touch of liquid. I add balsamic vinegar (about 3 tablespoons) almost every time I roast vegetables. It gives them a caramelized flavor. Another option: veggie/chicken broth
- Time. The only effort roasting vegetables requires is the chopping, but they do take a while to bake. You can make roasted veggies in stages by chopping the vegetables ahead of time and setting aside a 50 minutes to an hour for them to bake.
- Size. A lot of people roast ginormous hunks of vegetables. This is fine, but it’s not my style. I like bite-sized veggies because I think both the flavor and texture turn out better. Plus, knives are for cutting meat, not for cutting ginormous hunks of roasted veggies.
Hopefully this long-overdue roasted root vegetables post is helpful to those who want to add more vegetables to their diet or simply desire more veggie variety. If you have never seen or used some of the roots in the ingredient list below, google images them or ask the produce guy or gal; they want to share their wealth of knowledge.
Balsamic Roasted Root Vegtables
- 1 rutabaga peeled and chopped into ½” cubes
- 1 turnip chopped into ½” cubes
- 1 medium-sized sweet potato chopped into ½” cubes
- 1 medium-sized yam chopped into ½” cubes
- 4 carrots peeled and chopped into ¼” rounds
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Put all chopped veggies into a large, deep casserole dish (this may require 2 casserole dishes).
Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and grated ginger. Pour over the vegetables and mix using a fork.
Sprinkle the salt, cayenne pepper and cumin over the veggies and mix again with a fork to be sure everything is coated.
Bake 25 minutes and then remove casserole dish from oven to stir the vegetables well.
Increase heat to 415 degrees, place vegetables back in the oven and bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes until the sweet potato is softened and al dente, but not mushy.