Sauces can add color, texture, and flavor to your roasted vegetable dishes. If you’re looking for something tangy, sweet, or nutty, there is likely a sauce out there to choose from. You can use the sauce as a dip or spread.
Today, we’ll look at tips for choosing the best sauce for roasted vegetables, and give you five of the best sauce recipes out there.
Tips for Choosing the Best Sauce for Roasted Vegetables
When picking a sauce for your roasted veggies, make sure you balance the flavors. If you’re roasting vegetables that are mild, choose a sauce that’s bold, and vice versa. For instance, try a light lemon vinaigrette with roasted cucumbers, squash, or asparagus.
Oil and vinegar-based sauces can really boost the flavor of roasted vegetables. Experiment with different oils and different types of vinegars to find something that works for you.
You can also add herbs and spices for more flavor. Try fresh herbs or add red pepper flakes or cloves for some kick.
Another consideration to make when choosing sauces is the texture of the vegetables. Roasting can create different textures in vegetables. Some become crispy, while others stay soft. Choose a sauce that will complement the texture of your vegetables. For example, a tahini sauce for roasted eggplant or a peanut sauce for roasted sweet potatoes.
Also, consider the season and the vegetables and sauce ingredients that are in-season. In-season ingredients have fresh and potent flavors. For example, over the summer, there is an abundant supply of herbs and summer vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, beets, carrots, etc. Therefore, you can make a herb-based sauce to go with your roasted summer vegetables.
Finally, experiment with different sauces for roasted vegetables. Try out different sauce recipes and pair them with various roasted vegetables. Even when you find a few sauces that you like, do not settle; keep experimenting to find more that you like.
5 Best Sauces for Roasted Vegetables (+Recipes)
Balsamic glaze makes a sweet and tangy sauce for roasted vegetables. Balsamic vinegar cooks down into a thick, syrupy consistency that you can drizzle over your roasted vegetables. Honey balances out its tanginess, while Dijon mustard makes it creamy.
Balsamic glaze sauce pairs well with various roasted vegetables. To make it, you need a cup of balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of honey, and a tablespoon of Dijon mustard.
Preheat a saucepan over medium heat, then add the ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Pour the mixture into the saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Once ready, remove the sauce from the heat. You will know it is ready when the sauce’s volume reduces by half and has a syrupy consistency. Allow it to cool, and drizzle over your cooked vegetables. Allow the leftover balsamic glaze sauce to cool completely, and then store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
Lemon herb vinaigrette is a common vegetable dressing through the seasons. It is easy to make and brightens your roasted vegetables. It is made with a handful of ingredients, including lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, and seasonings.
You may also modify the recipe by adding Dijon mustard, garlic, and honey. The ingredients are typically mixed together and whisk until emulsified. Below is a simple recipe for making lemon herb vinaigrette.
The ingredients you need to make a lemon vinaigrette at home are ½ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice,1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon of fresh minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, cilantro, dill), salt, and black pepper to taste.
Add the ingredients to a bowl and whisk until well mixed. Keep whisking until the lemon herb vinaigrette is emulsified and the ingredients are fully combined. Then put it in a jar and close it with a tight lid for an airtight closure. Put it in the fridge to chill.
You can store the vinaigrette in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Shake or whisk well before using.
Chimichurri is a popular Argentine sauce. It is also popular in Uruguay. It is made from a blend of fresh herbs, garlic, oil, vinegar and red pepper flakes. Traditionally, the herbs used fresh oregano, parsley and cilantro. Basil, jalapeno, and garlic can also be added. Red wine vinegar is most preferable for this recipe. You may also spice with black pepper, and red pepper flakes, and add salt to taste.
Here is a basic recipe for chimichurri sauce. You’ll need a 1/2 cup of fresh parsley leaves, 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro leaves, 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh oregano, 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1/2 cup of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Put all the ingredients except olive oil in a food processor. Pulse the herbs until it is finely chopped. Pause the food processor and slowly pour in the olive oil. Once again, pulse the ingredients until the sauce is well mixed.
Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. If you add more seasoning, run the blender for 15-30 seconds to meld it in. Put the Chimichurri in a jar and enjoy with your roasted vegetables. Transfer leftover sauce to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before using.
Pesto is an Italian sauce, typically made from basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil. Pesto is traditionally used as a pasta sauce but can also be used as a flavorful spread or topping for vegetables. You can add nuts like almonds or pecans to the recipe or some lemon zest for extra flavor.
Here is a basic recipe for pesto sauce. You need 2 cups of basil leaves, 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of pine nuts or walnuts, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.
Put the basil leaves, parmesan cheese, pine nuts or walnuts, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender. Pulse them until finely chopped. Pause the food processor and slowly pour in the olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Store the pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.
Tahini sauce is a Middle Eastern yogurt sauce made from ground sesame seeds. It is a versatile sauce that can be used as a dip, spread, or topping for various dishes. It pairs well with roasted vegetables and adds a rich, nutty flavor. You can add some fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro or spice like cumin or smoked paprika for extra flavor.
To make the tahini sauce, you need 1/2 cup of tahini, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/4 cup of water, salt, and pepper to taste.
Add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to a medium bowl and whisk until combined. If the sauce is too thick, slowly add water to reach your desired consistency. The sauce should be smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Put the tahini sauce in a jar and use it as a dip or topping for your roasted vegetables. You can store leftover tahini sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Choosing the best sauce for roasted vegetables is a matter of personal preference and experimentation. The key is to consider the flavors and textures of the vegetables, what season it is, and to not be afraid to experiment with different sauces and seasonings until you find the perfect combination. Ultimately, the best sauce for roasted vegetables is the one you like the taste of the most and that pairs well with the vegetables you’re using.
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