Roasting vegetables to the point of caramelization is one popular way of eking out more sweetness and flavor from the raw vegetable. Adding a few splashes of a fruit-flavored vinegar while roasting enhances flavor even more and can be a great way to customize vegetable dishes and add creativity to what is often seen as bland vegetables.Jump to Recipe
Best Vinegars to Use in Making Vegetables Delicious
Vinegar, like salt, is a flavor enhancer so experiment with different vinegar and vegetable combinations. You can’t really go wrong. Here are a few of my favorites:
This is typically a sweet, aged vinegar, but there is quite a large range of flavor between brands. In general, the longer it is aged, the sweeter and thicker it gets, and the more expensive also.
Less expensive balsamic vinegars can be used in roasting vegetables, as well as for marinades and salad dressings where there are many other ingredients. Save the expensive balsamic vinegars for drizzling over cheese and greens, or to top off strawberries and ice cream.
Sherry vinegar is wonderful on marinated red onions and tomatoes, and works well as a vinaigrette on salads (add in a little walnut oil or other good oil).
Sherry vinegar works well when combined with strong, robustly flavored vegetables because it has been aged in wood. Sherry vinegar is also great for brightening braised greens.
If you’re looking to really boost the flavor of your vegetables, check out some of the infused vinegars. Infused vinegars (aka flavored vinegars) give everything a bit of a flavor boost while only adding a few calories.
There are more and more infused vinegars on the market now, some with berries, some with herbs and some with rather exotic ingredients like tree barks.
Shrub Syrups vs Infused Vinegars
At our farm we make a wide range of fruit vinegars called “shrub syrups” which are basically different vinegars infused with fruit and/or herbs and spices. The difference is that shrub syrups are quite concentrated and include some sugar.
Yes there is sugar in the shrub syrups, but you don’t use much of it when cooking with it as it is concentrated. The large tray of roasted vegetables that I experimented with only needed 1/4 cup of the shrub syrup to enhance the flavor tremendously.
Shrub syrups are also great to use as an enhancement to cocktails, mocktails, or just sparkling water. With drinks (like fizzy waters or cocktails), it only takes a couple of tablespoons to give your water a wonderful boost of flavor.
I tried the recipe below with a Rhubarb Fennel Shrub Syrup and again with a Cranberry Ginger Shrub Syrup. I plan to also try it with the Orange Chipotle and the Smoked Cherry in the coming winter weeks.
Sheet pan vegetables
Roasting vegetables sprinkled with infused vinegars is extremely easy to do on a sheet pan. Just grab whatever vegetables you have in your fridge, try and match the thickness, add some oil, some salt and pepper and a few splashes of vinegar and roast at 400 degrees for an hour.
The recipe below is extremely flexible. I used the vegetables I had on hand at the time. Other veggies that I have used with success include: cabbage, brussel sprouts, summer squash (zucchini and yellow squash, and celery. The vegetable world is really your oyster here 🙂
Other Great Roasted Vegetable Recipes:
- Winter Vegetable Sauté of squash, parsnips and carrots
- Savory Sweet Potato Casserole
- Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Roasted Vegetables
Using Vinegars with Roasted Vegetables
- 1 fennel bulb sliced
- ¼ head of cauliflower broken up into florets
- 1 large stalk of broccoli broken into florets
- 5 carrots peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 cups chopped bell peppers
- 1 head of garlic sliced in half
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- ¼ – ½ cup Infused vinegar Your favorite fruit infused vinegar or balsamic vinegar. I used Rubarb Fennel in this recipe
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Coarsely chop the veggies (peel the carrots) and lay out on a sheet pan or broiler pan tray.
- Drizzle with the oil and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using your hands toss the veggies with the oil and salt so they are pretty much covered.
- Drizzle the infused vinegar over the top of the vegetables and cover loosely with aluminum foil
- Roast for 40 minutes and then take the foil off and roast another 5 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
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