Roasted Roots

I love roasted vegetables. There’s something about the concentration of flavors that feels homey. And the contrast between the slightly crispy outside and the soft, creamy inside adds a little complexity. Here I have a medley of root vegetables from our CSA farm: sweet potatoes, rutabaga, turnip and carrots. Parsnips would be a good addition, as would regular white potatoes. I take the simplest approach to roasting these types of vegetables. I toss them in a little olive oil, sprinkle with coarse salt, sometimes add a few sprigs of herbs (thyme here), and then bake them in a medium-hot oven. For some roasted vegetables, like beans and asparagus, I use a very hot oven, but roots take longer to cook so I slow down the cooking time. You can always crank up the oven at the end if things aren’t browning to your satisfaction. The other important point is that these vegetables may roast at different rates, so I separate them in the roasting pan. Parsnips, for example, cook very quickly compared to carrots. If I’m serving this as a side dish at room temperature, as part of a buffet for example, I add a little spicy vinaigrette of olive oil, lime juice and a pinch of chili powder or hot paprika.

Roasted Root Vegetables

A variety of root vegetables, peeled and cut into ¾ – 1-inch chunks

Olive oil

Coarse salt

A few sprigs of fresh thyme

Spicy vinaigrette (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss the cut-up vegetables in a little olive oil, just to coat, arrange in roasting pan, keeping each type separate. Sprinkle with salt and roast for about 20 minutes – more or less depending on type – turning them part way through to brown all sides.

To make a spicy vinaigrette, combine 2 parts olive oil to 1 part lime juice (or a little more, to taste), add a pinch of chili powder, and a little salt. You can also add a tiny smidge of cayenne, but watch out – that stuff is hot!

Categories: Carrots, Sweet potato, Thanksgiving, Turnips and rutabagasTags: , , ,

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