Boost Your Roasted Vegetables By Seasoning After Cooking, Not Before

Conventional wisdom tells us to marinate our vegetables or meat before putting them in the oven or getting them to the grill. Seasoning or marinating anything before it hits the heat adds a layer of complexity and can even enhance the natural flavors of whatever you're cooking. Seasoning your meat well and as long as possible before you cook means the meat will be juicier and more tender (via Recipes).

Seasoning and marinating your vegetables –- for a couple of hours, at least –- before you cook them allows your flavors to meld and get to know each other. Chef Preeti Mistry, coauthor of "The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook," advocates for seasoning vegetables ahead of time, telling Wired, "If you do it in advance, your flavors create cohesion with the vegetables. If you season just before grilling, [the seasoning] just falls off." Pre-salting or marinating veggies like root vegetables, cauliflower, corn, or Brussels sprouts well ahead of time allows the flavors to really sink in and take it from just okay to memorable.

But there may be another way to transform your vegetables after cooking. 

Save the marinade for after you roast your veggies

Let's say we can turn that conventional wisdom on its head when it comes to our vegetables, and instead of seasoning or marinating before roasting the vegetables, do it after. Yes, really. Chop your veggies, toss them in some olive oil, and roast or grill them, then season them or even toss them in your favorite marinade. James Beard Outstanding Chef winner Paul Kahan advocates doing so in his cookbook "Cooking for Good Times." Kahan pan sears hearty vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets, and turnips. He then roasts them in the oven until tender, and tosses them in a tangy marinade with a citrus or vinegar base with sweetness and heat, like honey and red chili flakes (via Epicurious). 

There's also a massaged kale salad recipe Kahan instructs home cooks to let sit in a dressing for two to 24 hours. It's also the main idea behind tossing roasted vegetables like sprouts, carrots, or broccoli in a sweet and sour agrodolce and letting them rest before serving, as demonstrated by Samin Nosrat in her book "Salt Fat Acid Heat" (via Samin Nosrat).

It's a time-saving hack for weeknight meals, too. If you have your veggies pre-cooked and pre-seasoned, all you need to do is heat them up and serve.