How to Cook Vegetables That Don’t Suck

From roasted cauliflower with whipped goat cheese to twice-baked potatoes with kale, these 10 recipes prove that vegetables can trump meat after all.

  • Steam-Roasted Carrots with Cumin. The sexiest carrots you'll ever make, and a new method for all of your carrots henceforth. If you don't have any of these spices, or if you don't want to use them, skip them—the beauty of this recipe is in the method.
  • Winter Panzanella with Orange, Roasted Beets, and Pomegranate Seeds. This is everything you want out of a salad in the winter: the softened-but-still-crusty bite of bread, the pop of citrus, the salty tang of feta, the sweetness of the beets and pomegranate. We'll be devouring bowls of this until the weather gets warm.
  • Smoky Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili. This sweet, smoky, and flavorful chili recipe will change the way you think about chili. Tender sweet potatoes and hearty black beans pair perfectly, and paprika and chili powder keep it interesting.
  • Twice-Baked Potatoes with Kale. All the fluffy, cheesy beauty of a twice-baked potato, made better (and heartier) by the addition of sauteed kale.
  • Herbed Butternut Squash Chips. These are infinitely better than a potato chip. They are perfectly crisp, complex with herby flavors, and endlessly eatable.
  • Alon Shaya’s Whole Roasted Cauliflower and Whipped Goat Cheese. Cauliflower poached in a winey, punchy broth, then roasted whole results in a brown and crackly masterpiece. Topped with a creamy, tangy sauce, Alon Shaya's cauliflower is pure genius.
  • Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts and Thyme. Cooking the Brussels sprouts in white wine allows them to be steamed and evenly cooked to a perfect al dente. A sprig of thyme, a handful of pine nuts, and a sprinkling of Parmesan are the perfect complement.
  • Miso-Maple Roasted Roots. A very basic, endlessly customizable miso sauce, tempered with sticky-sweet maple syrup, tossed with root vegetables, roasted until golden. Use whatever root vegetables you have handy—almost anything works.
  • Balsamic-Roasted Shallots. Sear shallots until they develop a beautiful, brown crust, add salt, thyme, sherry, and balsamic vinegar, then roast them until they are dark, sticky, and tender.
  • Moro’s Warm Squash and Chickpea Salad with Tahini. Tender, roasted squash, filling chickpeas, and a lemony, garlicky tahini dressing. This salad eats more like a gratin, without the cheese hangover.

We know we’re supposed to like vegetables. We know we should choose salad over burgers and Brussels sprouts over wings. We want to want to. But when it comes down to a game-time decision, we find ourselves opting for, well, anything but vegetables. As much as we hate to admit it, a lot of times, vegetables just aren’t that good. But, the vegetables aren’t to blame. Prepared well, vegetables can be the most delicious thing on your plate—as these awesome recipes prove. Maybe Brussels sprouts can trump wings and salads can beat burgers after all.

Click through the gallery above to see all of the recipes.

Follow Food52 on Twitter @food52


Latest News