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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Root Vegetable Bake

I love my Aunt Kathy. She's my mom's baby sister and to me, she's a great mix of a cool aunt but also a motherly figure in my life. She never had children of her own (by her own choice) but you better believe that all her nieces and nephews claim her as one of their mothers. She's every bit a grandmother to my boys as their real grandmothers are. Kathy has an amazing gift of hospitality and can cook like nobody's business. I often go to her for recipe and entertaining advice and I love to cook for her.

She's mentioned her "Root Vegetable Bake" several times and I finally attempted it today. The rustic smell of root vegetables roasting and caramelizing in the oven made our house so warm and cozy on this rainy and dreary day. Although I originally made this as a side dish I decided to serve them atop a bed of mixed greens; making a simple yet hearty winter salad. I simply took some baby romaine lettuce, drizzled some homemade maple dressing over, topped with a hefty serving of the root vegetables and seasoned with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Add a few walnuts for some crunch. This is my favorite recipe of the moment! Soooo good. Listen up...don't be afraid of turnips, rutabagas and parsnips. They are SO delicious and tasty when roasted and all the vegetables take on a slight sweetness. You really want to vary your root vegetables, otherwise you won't have as flavorful of a dish! About the only root vegetable I didn't use was carrots, just because I wasn't in the mood.

Here's the method:

Root Vegetable Bake

Use an assortment of your favorite root vegetables. What I use:
1 red potato
1 turnip
1 rutabaga
1 sweet potato
1 onion (red or yellow)
1-2 parsnips
1-3 stalks of fresh rosemary
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
sea salt

Peel and chuck the vegetables (you may leave the skin on the red potato), making chunks of similar size, about 1-2 inches. Toss in a large bowl with several good turns of olive oil, rosemary leaves, and a few good splashes of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, or until caramelized and tender. Stir a couple of times while they're in the oven. Don't overcook.

Great fresh out of the oven or on top of mixed greens.

Maple Dressing:
1/4 C. Maple syrup
1/4 C. Olive OIl
2 TBSP Cider Vinegar.

wisk to combine all ingredients.


Scott and Sara said...

Sounds delicious! Printing this one off for the recipe binder.

Ellie said...

Just browsing through blogs and came across this recipe of yours. It looks delicious and I can't wait to try it!!!! Thanks :)