Tag Archives: turnip

Lean into Winter with Root Vegetable Fries

Roasted Root Vegetable FriesRoasted Roots

When it’s cold and gray outside, it’s the season for root vegetables. We can count on our not-so-fair weather friends to usher us through the frigid months, gracing our tables and fortifying our diets with their sweet, nutrient-rich roots. These winter work horses are storehouses of energy, flavor and natural sugar – guaranteed to brighten up your plate and palate on a dreary chilly day.

In this recipe, root vegetables replace the ever-popular russet potato, and while they are called “fries” they are, in fact, oven roasted, so you can feel virtuous while you scarf down a batch. Mix and match your favorite roots and spices to your taste. If you can get your hands on purple sweet potatoes, give them a try – they have a slightly spiced and earthy flavor, and remain firm while roasting. As for peeling, I prefer to leave my organic root vegetables unpeeled, and simply give them a good scrub, since their skins are a wonderful source of nutrients and flavor. Roast one root vegetable or choose a variety for striking color. I like to use a combination of parsnips, carrots, celery root, rutabaga, and sweet potato.

Roasted Root Vegetable Fries

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves 4 to 6

2 pounds root vegetables, such as parsnips, carrots, celery root, rutabaga, and sweet potato
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dipping Sauce:
3/4 cup Greek whole milk yogurt
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Heat the oven to 425°F. Cut the root vegetables into 2-inch batons, about 1/3-inch thick. Place in a large bowl. Add the oil and generously season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat.
2. Spread the vegetables in one layer on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Roast on the lowest rack of the oven until golden brown on the bottoms, about 15 minutes. Move the baking sheet to the top rack of the oven and roast until tender and golden brown on top, about 15 more minutes. (If desired, turn on the broiler for the last few minutes of roasting.)
3. While the vegetables are roasting, whisk dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
4. Serve the fries warm with the dipping sauce.

Roasted Chicken and Vegetables with Mustard and Tarragon

There is something intrinsically satisfying about roasting a chicken. Versatile, economical, forgiving, and consistently delicious: a roast is perfect family dinner fare, and also worthy of casual entertaining. Expecting guests? Roast 2 chickens and double up on the ingredients. Variations abound.  In our case, roast chicken often involves a rub, as minimal as simply salt or more embellished with olive oil, garlic, lemon, mustard. Add an Asian twist with grated ginger, or head to north Africa with coriander and cumin. A favorite preparation is to roast the bird nestled in a pan with seasonal vegetables. As the chicken cooks, the vegetables brown and baste, adding to the flavor to the pan juices.

Roast Chicken and Spring Vegetables with Mustard and Tarragon
Serves 4-6

This recipe takes advantage of spring’s new vegetables. Feel free to mix and match with what’s available. I used thick purple spring onions, white carrots and baby turnips. Onions, fennel and potatoes are also a sure thing. For a rustic family-style presentation, return the carved chicken to the skillet in which it roasted, amidst the vegetables and pan juices.

1  3-4 pound whole chicken
Juice of one lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh tarragon sprigs, coarsely chopped, plus extra for garnish

1 pound (6-8)  baby turnips, ends trimmed, halved
1/2 pound baby carrots, ends trimmed
6-8 thick red spring onions, ends trimmed, halved crosswise

Preheat oven to 400 F. Rinse and pat dry the chicken outside and inside the cavity. Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Stir in the tarragon. Rub the 3/4 of the marinade all over the chicken – inside the cavity, outside, and between the skin and breast meat.
Place turnips, carrots and onions in a bowl. Toss with remaining marinade. Dump the vegetables into a large cast iron skillet or roasting pan. Nestle the chicken, breast-side up, in the middle of the vegetables. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove; using tongs turn chicken over, breast-side down. Return to oven and roast 20 minutes. Remove; turn chicken one more time. Continue roasting until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear when a knife is inserted in the thigh, 20-30 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest 15 minutes. Carve the chicken and return to the skillet with the vegetables and juices. Serve.

Baked Root Vegetable Purée

Root Vegetable Puree tf

There is no set rule for the types of root vegetables you can use in this recipe.  In fact, what you see on the ingredients list is what happened to be in my kitchen when I set out to make a this dish to serve with roast chicken  last night.  As I puréed the steamed vegetables, I envisioned doctoring it with all sorts of extra spices, a little grated cheese, maybe even some minced onion.  But then I tasted the purée, and was blown away by its soft, sweet, nutty flavor.  Mild and delicate, all it needed was salt and pepper and a dollop of sour cream to lighten its texture.  For a little autumnal flourish, I topped the purée with fresh sage leaves before baking, so their woody flavor would lightly infuse the vegetables.

Baked Root Vegetable Purée
Baking the purée creates a crusty texture on its top.  If you would like a soft purée, omit the baking step.  The sage leaves will lightly infuse the purée with their flavor during baking.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

3 medium parsnips
2 large turnips
1 large sweet potato
1 large rutabaga (swede)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup (60  ml.) creme fraiche or sour cream
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sage leaves for garnish

Peel and cut vegetables in 2 inch chunks.  Steam in a large pot until very tender, 20-30 minutes.  Transfer in two batches to a food processor.  Purée each batch with 2 tablespoons butter. Combine puréed vegetables, sour cream, salt and pepper in large bowl and mix well.  Pour into baking dish.  (Purée can be made to this point up to one day in advance.  Allow to cool completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before baking.)
Arrange sage leaves on top of purée, pressing gently.  Bake in pre-heated 350 F. oven 25 minutes.  Remove and serve immediately.