Get Grounded with Root Vegetables

November 7, 2017

The holidays are just around the corner—yikes! Before the chaos and holiday cheer begins, I invite you to take a moment to pause, take a breath, and nourish yourself.  I can’t think of a better way to do this than focusing on the warming root vegetables that are so sweet right now.  In addition to the basics (carrots, sweet potatoes, baker potatoes, onions, beets), don’t be afraid to jump into the not-so-basics (parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, celeriac, fennel).

My favorite way to enjoy root vegetables? Roast them! Let me convince you.

Roasting is virtually hands-off cooking. Chop ‘em, toss ‘em, and throw ‘em in the oven.
Roasting is a great excuse to turn on the oven, for an extra toasty kitchen these brisk days.
Roasting turns vegetables into crispy, creamy, caramel-y morsels of sweetness.

Now that you’re convinced (yeah?), here are some tips to roast the perfect root vegetables.

1) Preheat the oven, hot. At least 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 425 is even better.

2) Use parchment paper. Not wax paper. Aluminum foil works, but doesn’t have the aesthetic appeal. This helps keep the mess minimal and post-supper free time maximal.

3) Consider roasting time. Vegetables will vary in the time they require to cook. Denser vegetables tend to take longer such as carrots, while more delicate vegetables require less time such as green beans and aspargus. Thankfully, root vegetables are all pretty similar in regards to required cooking time, so you can usually get away with putting them all in at once. Be sure to cut them all to a similar size for even cooking. I prefer smaller (about ½ inch cubes) rather than larger.

4) Coat thoroughly with dressing (nothing wrong with the simple trio of oil, salt, and pepper).  Thoroughly doesn’t mean heavily. Thoroughly means tossing long enough to cover every nook and cranny. This prevents the sweet root vegetables from drying out.

5) Allow for breathing room. Nothing will doom a sheet pan of veggies to a soggy fate faster than overcrowding the pan. This is serious. Make sure you can see plenty of that parchment paper between the veggies for a crispy outcome.

6) Make extra. Leftover roasted root vegetables work are a great addition to eggs, soups, lasagna, pasta, and sandwiches.

7) Try something new. I can’t think of a root vegetable that doesn’t roast well. To answer the question, “What do I do with turnips?” Roast them! You won’t regret it.

Happy root vegetable roasting. We at Harmons would love to see your beautiful pans of sheet vegetables. Tag #healthyharmons to show off your work!