Now that summer is a distant memory, I’m faced with the prospect of not having all those lovely fresh vegetables available for meal planning. There’s nothing like eating fresh corn on the cob, vine-ripened tomatoes or eggplant to name a few. Summer vegetables taste best when you can consume them in that season, but learning a new cooking technique can make preparing fall and winter vegetables a rewarding addition to your menu.
There are many fall veggies that make quite a tasty stand-in for those summer favorites. I am partial to root vegetables in autumn – such as turnips, sweet potatoes, parsnips and rutabagas – as they can make a hearty soup or stew. Don’t limit your cooking methods to just boiling or simmering these vegetables. I have found that marinating them can have the same effect as marinating meat. The flavor is dramatically increased. When you’re at the market, make sure to select sturdy vegetables that will hold up under the marinating technique and roasting time.
Marinating vegetables is not a new technique, but many cooks feel they don’t have the time to devote to this cooking method. Not to worry. Vegetables can be marinated from 30 minutes to 1 day. Just keep in mind the principal ingredients in a marinade are flavorings (selected herbs and spices), oil (which keeps the seasonings in the flavoring that coats the vegetables) and an acid that breaks down the structure of the vegetable so the flavor can penetrate it.
I place my marinade and seasonings in a large plastic bag. This allows me to turn the vegetables as often as I like and it makes for easy clean up. The root vegetable recipe below is one of my favorites, and you can also substitute other vegetables and spices to suit your palate. Try experimenting with smaller quantities of either vegetables and/or seasonings, and you can create variations of this recipe that you and your family can enjoy.
Oven Roasted Root Vegetables with Marinade
Ingredients for marinade
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 3 tsp. shallots, finely minced
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
- 1 tsp. hot red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. rosemary
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano1 large red onion, roughly chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled, washed. Cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 white turnip bottom, washed, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 yellow turnip, washed, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 to 2 medium white potatoes, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces (Leave the skin on)
- 1 sweet potato, washed, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 medium sized red peppers, washed, seeded and quartered
- 1 large onion sliced
- Place all marinade ingredients into large plastic bag.
- Add cut up vegetables to plastic bag. Use two bags if vegetables are crowded and divide marinade between the two plastic bags. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to 1 day.
- When ready to roast vegetables, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove vegetables from plastic bag and place on baking sheet.
- Bake 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally so vegetables can brown. Remove when vegetables are tender or when they have reached a desired brownness. Serves 6 to 8
Adapted from Cooks.com
This is a scrumptious and nutritious dish with lovely colors. If your vegetables start to brown too quickly, reduce the oven temperature to 350 or cover loosely with foil. Also, the marinade can be added during to baking process to keep the veggies from getting too dry. If you decide to substitute other vegetables, make sure the size of the vegetables is uniform so they bake evenly.
Ann Martin is a contributing writer for Dinnerware Center, which specializes in dinnerware and flatware sets, such as Fiesta and Fiesta Dinnerware. She enjoys testing out new recipes on her family and friends and she also contributes to other cooking sites. Ann loves traveling and visiting different restaurants.
Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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