Roasted Root Vegetables

Roasted roots: carrots, parsnips, potatoes, butternut squash

Roasted roots: carrots, parsnips, potatoes, butternut squash

Roasted root vegetables make for a sweet and savory side dish.

Roots great for roasting are carrots, turnips, celery root, rutabagas, parsnips, kohlrabi, and fingerling potatoes. To these you can add garlic bulbs and thick slices of butternut squash if you like.

Toss root vegetables with a bit of olive oil and salt and set them in the oven preheated to 400°F. Just browned roasted root vegetables will be sweet flavored.

Tips for flavorful roasted root vegetables:

Shape in which they are cut: winter root vegetable should be peeled and cut into pieces about the same size for even cooking; don’t cut them too small or the flavor will be cooked out; avoid thin edges so they don’t burn before the centers are done

Seasoning and oiling: coat roots for roasting lightly with olive oil—just enough oil that it doesn’t collect in the bottom of the bowl. Toss the vegetables using a spoon or your hands. Add a bit of salt and season to taste. Lay the vegetables out on a large baking sheet with sides. Use a sided baking sheet so turn the vegetables while they are cooking.

Try different seasonings—not just salt; add thyme, rosemary, and black pepper with a dash of vinegar to the olive oil.

Cooking temperature: Preheat the oven to 400°F—not so hot that the vegetables burn, not so low that they have to cook longer and as a result dry out. Cook the vegetables until they are tender (pierce a root with the tip of a knife to test) and nicely browned; stir or turn them during cooking—move the vegetables on the edges of the baking sheet to the center.