Roasted Root Vegetables
The diced vegetables in this recipe can be prepared multiple days ahead and stored refrigerated, perhaps not more than four days?
The entire recipe could be cooked a day ahead and re-heated in a cookpot for service, but will lose any crisp edges.
- Kitchen sink
- vegetable peeler
- Large chef’s knife (8+ inches)
- Large cutting board
- Large mixing bowl
- Liquid measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Small bowl (for measuring)
- 9×13 inch baking sheet that has 4 sides
- Aluminum foil
- Medium-size serving platter or bowl
- Trivets or hotpads
Ingredients (by prep order)
- 1/2 pound parsnips (diced)
- 1/2 pound carrots (diced)
- 1/2 pound beets (diced)
- 1/2 cup “light” olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary
Pre-heat oven to 375f and move the oven rack you intend to use to either the middle or a little low from middle.
Unroll aluminum foil across the baking sheet until you have enough to cover both the bottom and the sides. The objective is to make a liner that will leave the pan easier to clean, as the juice from the beets and carrots can bake into hard spots that are difficult to clean later.
Measure the olive oil into the mixing bowl.
Measure the salt and dried rosemary into the small bowl and then dump that into your mixing bowl.
Mix the spices into the oil.
Rinse your varied vegetables. While you rinse, evaluate the skin; if you’re lucky, it’s all delightfully edible, which is great because root vegetable skins typically have a good bit of the flavor and nutrition stored in them. If you’re unlucky, the skins may have sandy grit or other unpleasantness in them, and will need to be peeled (beets are the most likely offenders here).
Peel away any vegetable skin that needs it. Look for green spots on carrots, sandy/mushy/unidentifiable spots on beets, woody spots on parsnips, and anything else that you wouldn’t put in your mouth.
Trim a bit of the tops off of everything, as typically this is where they were cut away from their above-ground greenery days or weeks ago and woody-ness spreads away from that cut as it dries.
Dicing vegetables is a fun adventure that works in size tiers. A carrot the diameter of a finger can simply be cut in coin-shaped rounds, or split in half the long way and cut in half-circles. The same treatment for a parsnip as thick as a soda can will result in huge unwieldy pieces. Aside from aesthetics, the shape of the individual cut pieces isn’t necessarily important, rather, the end goal is that everything be roughly the same volume and surface area. Approach each of your vegetables as an object to be broken down into these pieces by whatever pattern suits you. The end goal is pieces of a size between a nickel and a quarter, and perhaps half an inch thick.
All of your pieces can go into the mixing bowl as you finish them.
Wash and dry your hands very well, and then use one of them to toss the mixture in the mixing bowl until the oil has well-coated your varied pieces.
Use the tossing hand as a spatula and pour the contents of the mixing bowl into the baking pan, making sure to get the last of that delicious oil drizzled across the the pile.
Still using that tossing hand, spread your mixture evenly across the pan. A good level spread is important because high (thick) areas in your vertical density will cook slower than the material around them.
Bake at 375f for 45 to 60 minutes, until one of your thicker pieces is nice and soft when squished with a fork or a tongue (danger, hot!). Like “al dente” pasta, the best texture is one you want to eat. Test a beet or carrot piece, as the parsnips will probably soften the fastest.
You can serve straight from the tray at the table if you have space, or deliver it in a serving bowl or platter (be warned that this will cool faster). Cover loosely with aluminum foil if you need to delay service for a bit.
This can run in the oven at the same time as the Schweinbraten; put this recipe one rack slot lower than the pork (and be careful with the edges of your aluminum foil liner, as it’s easy to catch a loose corner on the rack above in a tight oven).
Loosely inspired by this 16th century German recipe, although we skipped the added sugar at the end and chose to cut then cook. Although the linked redaction translates brat as fry, it can also be used for roast or braise. Roasted they work well with the pork roast that is also in this course.