Roasted Carrots, Potatoes and Parsnips
Winter root vegetables take on flavor when roasted.
- Servings: 4.
Oven roasting is an easy and tasty way to cook vegetables. Asparagus roasts quickly and easily, their tips caramelizing. Tomatoes get a richer taste, especially when roasted for a long time at a low temperature. Roasting can even turn the often scorned Brussels sprout into something that tastes more like popcorn than cabbage.
But root vegetables -- especially carrots, parsnips, turnips and potatoes -- may get the best transformation of all from roasting. The high temperature causes their natural sugars to become more pronounced. Their tips and edges get brown and crispy while their insides are soft and tender. And parents take note: this simple roasting turns ordinary vegetables into something that even kids will want to eat.
Oven roasting vegetables is another reason to have a large rimmed sheet pan in your arsenal of pots and pans. This method is so simple it may be an overstatement to call it a recipe.
- 1 pound parsnips
- 1 pound carrots
- 1 pound small potatoes (baby Yukon golds or fingerlings are best but you can also use red bliss or other non-baking potato; just cut into about 1-2" pieces)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
- Peel the parsnips and carrots and trim off the tops and tips so that you have clean, trimmed vegetables. If they are thick or large, just slice them the long way so to have long spears of approximately equal sizes.
- Wash the potatoes. You can either wash them well and leave the peels on, or else peel them completely. Cut any larger potatoes into 1-to-2 inch pieces.
- Make sure all the vegetables are dry. If any are wet from washing, just use a paper towel to pat them dry because any excess water will cause them to steam and that's not what we're doing here.
- Spread all the prepared vegetables on a rimmed sheet pan doing the best you can to have them in one layer. As they cook they will shrink so if there's some overlap at the start don't worry because in 10 or so minutes you'll be able to re-arrange them into a single layer.
- Drizzle about 1/4 cup of olive oil over the vegetables. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and several grinds of fresh pepper. Using your clean hands, toss everything together so as to get a light coating of oil on everything (just a slick; we're not frying here).
- Cook in the hot oven for about a half-hour, checking every 10 or 15 minutes to shake the pan. You may need to use a pair of tongs or a spatula and turn the pieces over so that different surfaces get brown.
- Cook until the vegetables are tender and the edges brown and crispy and a bit caramelized.
- Remove from the oven and taste for and adjust seasoning.
Tip: Roasted root vegetables are delicious when eaten hot right out of the oven. But you can also let them cool to room temperature and add to a salad of winter greens dressed with a simple vinaigrette.