Cynthia Lopez-Pettorino, a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and nutrition coordinator, asked us to delve deeper into the world of aromatic veggies, citing their budget friendliness and huge flavor-boosting properties.
So, what is the definition of aromatic vegetables?
Generally, aromatic vegetables are used as a flavor base when cooking. Many cuisines in Europe and the Mediterranean use a base of garlic, carrots, onions, celery, and peppers as aromatics. But you don’t have to stop there! You can also scan the produce aisles for appetizing in-season vegetables to get a flash of great flavor while cooking and preparing salads.
Consider these options:
- Onions: Choose from sweet, red, yellow, or white, then mix and match. Experiment with shallots for a milder flavor. Scallions are a fresh way to add a mild onion flavor too. Plus, these are easy to chop with no peeling and no crying
- Garlic has a great shelf life and adds a classic taste that is utterly unique to itself.
- Mushrooms often contribute a meaty flavor and texture called umami to dishes.
- Hot peppers come in all varieties of heat and spice and often you can use one to pep up dishes for the whole week! Think salads to salsas to grilled items.
- Fennel: This bulb adds a sweet and rich licorice essence to dishes.
- Sorrel: These greens add a rich bitter flavor wherever you put them. You can find sorrel in the freezer section of your store or use spinach.
- Tomatoes are sweet and acidic at the same time and they have the versatility to be used raw or cooked. Use them early in the week for snacks/salads, then later roasted with chicken or fish.
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.