Monday, January 7, 2008

I'll tell you a secret...

Shh!! If I tell you this secret you have to promise not to tell anyone else!


OK, I am a produce farmer who, until this last summer did not like many root crops! Turnips, beets, parsnips, all UKK!

What was I thinking!?! Maybe I had childhood memories of homemade pickled beets and lumpy mashed turnips? I had never really been exposed them in a positive way.

So last winter when I saw them popping up on all the cooking shows I figured I should give them a try. And boy, was I wrong. Now my favorite fall/winter side dish is roasted root vegetables. I could eat them almost every day!
The picture above is so much prettier then mine, but let me tell you how I make them.
2 small turnips, 1 large or 2 small beets, 2 small potatoes, 2 large carrots, 1 parsnip. Peel all of these and slice. This is where I have been playing around. I slice them into half or quarter rounds so all the pieces are about the same size, but the beets take the longest so cut them a little thinner and the potatoes take the shortest so cut them a little thicker.

Then coat the whole mess in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper. You could also throw in some fresh herbs, but I never have them in the winter so I leave it basic.
Spray a large baking dish with oil, and pour everything in. The larger the dish is the better this will work, the more surface area of the veggies and the more they are spread out and not piled the better.

Oven at 400 and start roasting. Every 15 minutes or so check and stir. After 45 minutes to an hour when all the pieces are fork tender (even the beets) turn on the broiler. Watch them carefully and when the top pieces start to show a little color flip the pieces around. You want as many of the pieces toasty as you can get without drying out the potatoes or crisping anything.

For me this takes maybe 15 minutes and 4-5 stirs...
There you are. Root vegetables to die for! Healthy, yummy, pretty easy, and perfect winter comfort food. (although do we really need that when it is in the 60s in January!?!)

No comments: