Roasted Root

Last night my very thoughtful aunt Cheryl called to let me know of a great article she found in the New York Times on root vegetables.   

Now I’ve always loved me some good ol’ carrots and potatoes, but the other roots have never quite made the grocery list cut.  I admit, this is partly because of my unfamiliarity with these raw ingredients, but also because up until now I never really knew how to cook them.  Baked celeriac?  Parsnip gratin? Really?

Reading this article, I felt as if a whole new world of cooking had just opened up for me.  The idea of root vegetables being used interchangeably: now this is the start of something awesome.  In other words, all of your recipes starring the ever so versatile (yet relatively bland on its own) potato can in fact be substituted for a more sophisticated twist, say turnips, parsnips, or celery root if prepared correctly.  Yet before I start getting crazy with roots, it’s important for me to understand the basic texture and tastes of each individual root. 

Roasted Root

Ingredients:

  • Carrot
  • Red potato
  • Turnip
  • Fennel bulb
  • Red onion
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • Rosemary

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Remove tunip skin and wash all the veggies.  Chop into like-sized pieces in order to bake evenly and place in bowl.  Drizzle generous amount of olive oil, salt and pepper, and rosemary over and stir to coat evenly.  


Transfer to aluminum lined baking sheet and bake for over an hour, until the veggies begin to carmelize and potato and turnip are tender.   

In addition to the roots, I also went with onion and fennel.  The onion is a great aromatic with a crunchy texture and definitely mellows out when cooked.  The fennel I went with because I’m still on a fennel kick from my last recipe and am constantly wanting to cook with it these days.  I bet whole garlic cloves would be great to add to this combo as well but I didn’t think of it at the time.  I was actually really hoping that they’d have beets at my market today but they were out.  Beets are not only one of my favorite roasting veggies, but you can chop off the beet greens and saute them for a great side, add them to a soup (see my Winter Veg Chicken soup below, sub chard for beet greens) or do with them whatever you fancy.   I can assure you that you will be seeing beets in many of my future dishes.  

A big THANKS to my Aunt Cheryl for an great recommendation.

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