Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Roasted Rotating Root Veggies

If you aren't doing so already, start eating this.

This year roasted root veggies are making up a large part of my winter diet. Partly because we're getting a lot from our CSA, and partly because they seem like the most perfect cold weather food. There's something about this season that just makes me want to eat things that grow underground.

A hearty portion of veggies like these goes a long way. I'm finding that a big dose of tubers and bulbs takes the place of both the starch and vegetable in a given meal, thereby compromising about 80% of what I feel the need to eat. A plate of these plus a drumstick or a slab of tofu and you're in business. A slice of bread and some salad? Superfluous.

I used to think of this dish as a specialty item, but I recommend that everyone bump it up to staple status. The key to not getting bored with it is to keep things in rotation. Thanks to the CSA, I have turnips, sweet potatoes, unsweet potatoes, carrots, beets, onions, parsnips, and some stuff I can't identify but which looks great. Any three of those will do, so you can imagine the possibilities and varying degrees of sweetness.

My advice is to buy a bunch of different kinds of root veggies and then make them in different combinations. They'll last forever, plus you don't need much of any one of them at once. When you take a little from each root, your pan is often too full. And like the price of olives at an olive bar, the roasting temp for all of these is roughly the same, so mix and match with abandon.

Filling veggies may sound like an oxymoron to anyone who hasn't experienced them, but I could almost live on these alone.


Recipe: Roasted Root Veggies

1 tbsp coarse salt
3/4 tbsp rosemary (more if fresh)
3 twists of a pepper grinder
oil to coat
Equal parts of any of the following: beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, onion, parsnip

Pre-heat the oven to 400.

Cut the veggies into bite sized pieces - they smaller they are, the faster they cook.

Note: I only peel the parsnip and beets.

Toss well with the remaining ingredients.

Roast at 400 for 45 minutes to an hour, tossing three times to ensure equal oil coverage. Toss gently, with two metal spoons, to avoid breakdown.

They're done when a fork meets little resistance from each variety of veggie.

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Seth said...

My basic fall staple is a combo like this but with three things:

Delicata squash

Delicata squash (or another kind of squash) is an awesome addition to a root roast. I like delicata because you don't have to peel and it's a manageable size for a meal for 2 or 3 people.

Jeff said...

Unbelievable. This is exactly what I had tonight. My version is very close to yours.

My typical roasted veggie seasoning is rosemary and thyme, but tonight I just used a jar of herbs de Provence.

I think parsnips are my favorite...they just turn to candy when roasted.

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