Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Roasted Sweet Pototoes, Carrots and Turnips

The recipe that I use the most in my kitchen is not a recipe at all. It's more of a formula: chop vegetables, toss with oil and herbs and roast until tender and slightly caramelized. A wide variety of vegetables can be thrown into the mix: winter squashes and potatoes, carrots and onions, turnips and garlic. The herbs vary as well: rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, basil. The mixture depends on my mood, the contents of my pantry, and the accompanying dishes. Roasting is easy, always satisfying, and always at my fingertips for a last-minute dish.

This particular combination is a real winner. The addition of some tiny hakurei turnips to my planned dish of carrots and sweet potatoes provided variety in color and texture, as well as adding a little  zing. The carrots remained firm and lightly sweet through the roasting process, while the sweet potatoes became soft and dissolved into an almost candy-like sweetness. Throw them all together and you have seriously good eats - something appropriate for a Thanksgiving table as well as a Monday night dinner.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Turnips

1 1/2 lb sweet potato, cut into 1" chunks (you don't need to peel them - the best nutrition will come off with the skin - but my sweet potato looked a little mangy, so I did this time)
1 lb carrot, cut into 1" chunks
1/2 lb turnip, cut into 1" chunks (I used several small ones, but a large turnip or rutabaga would be fine as well)
1 tsp dried thyme (fresh would be better - I didn't feel like stumbling around my herb garden with a flashlight to find some!)
1/2 tsp dried winter savory
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Combine the sweet potatoes, carrots and turnips in a large bowl. Sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, and mix to combine (I prefer to toss the mixture with my hands). Transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet.

Roast for 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven (my batch took 35), stirring once or twice to keep the vegetables from sticking to the foil. Serve hot!

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