Tuesday, September 30, 2014

For the love of parsnips...

White carrots. That's what I thought they were. Parsnips, you've probably seen them in the grocery store and not given them a second look. I am not sure that I ever paid any attention to them until my husband put them in chicken soup, and they added this lovely but unidentifiable spiciness to it. But still, who needs parsnips? If you haven't figured out by now ... YOU do!

I don't know who started the trend of roasted vegetables, but lately most of the top trending recipes are for roasted vegetables. I've always been a big fan of roasted potatoes, and especially roasted potatoes and carrots with a roast. Then while having one of those "clean out the fridge" dinners, we had only a bag of parsnips and decided to roast them. First - they taste nothing like carrots. Roasted, they have a spicy richness about them with just a hint of sweetness.

When we cooked the roast last night, I promised to share what we served with it. Here it is, a lovely blend of parsnips, carrots, purple potatoes, and yukon gold potatoes. The flavors are so complimentary, and the recipe is simple and straightforward. Roasted until just barely browned, the natural sugars in the vegetables add just a tiny bit of carmel sweetness. Between the roast, and the roasted root vegetables - it was a lovely dinner.  I hope that you get a chance to try roasting some fall vegetables and enjoy the warmth and comfort of a well prepared dinner.


2-3 large parsnips, peeled
2-3 large carrots, peeled
4-6 purple potatoes
4-5 yukon gold potatoes
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt/Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Slice parsnips and carrots into 1/3 inch discs
Cut potatoes in half and then into 1/3 (the rationale behind this is to have all pieces roughly the same size/volume so that they roast evenly)
Place the chopped vegetables into a large bowl and toss with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. There should be just enough to coat all pieces but none standing in the bottom of the bowl.  If you need a little more add by teaspoon until all pieces are coated. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Spread the vegetables out on the baking sheet and make sure they are not too crowded, and if you've got too many, just use a second baking sheet.

Put them into the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
After 20 minutes, take them out and use a spatula to give them a toss (don't worry about turning them all over, they'll be fine).
Put them back in the oven and check them in 5 minute increments. Remove as soon as you see the edges start to brown.  This batch took about 30 minutes, time may vary based upon your oven. 

My husband loves the purple potatoes, and they are sweet and so good for you. If you don't like the purple ones, add sweet potatoes as a variation, or just add more of the parsnips, carrots, and yukon golds. This recipe hits most of the comfort food requirements: sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy, and best of all, it is homemade!

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