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Holiday Roasted Roots


No recipe needed

Seasonal roots make a perfect holiday side, but they’re also a winter staple in my home — eaten hot out of the oven, reheated just a bit and served on a sandwich, lathered with pesto, blended together, then added to broth for a soup,, even eaten cold out of the fridge as a snack.

Roots for a crowd
For Thanksgiving, cook them ahead on lots of trays, as they shrink down and go fast. Reheat in a hot oven while you’re putting everything out. (I like to cook some of them under the bird so they can soak up its juices, then toss them with the rest of the veggies.)

Works with any roots
Start with the best local roots you can find. In the picture above you see locally grown potatoes,multi-colored carrots, celery root, sweet potatoes and onions that I bought at the River Valley Market, my local food coop. But I joined a fall CSA, so I’m getting a new batch next week from Red Fire Farm.

General Tips
I cut them all about the same size, on the large side,  then toss them with fruity olive oil,  fresh rosemary that I picked on my porch, lots of coarse salt, minced garlic and freshly cracked pepper. Add onion if you like too. Peeling the potatoes and sweets is optional.  I like ’em unpeeled when they’re organic; just make sure they’re well-scrubbed.

I like to keep the seasoning simple, as there are already so many flavors on the holiday table. But you can add all kinds of herbs and spices to suit your fancy, such as cumin seeds, onion powder — the works.  It’s hard to go wrong, really. (I go wild when dinner is roasted roots topped with fried eggs.)

Cooking them
Cook roots on sheet pans on parchment paper in single layer with a little space between them at 400-425 degrees until VERY done, caramelized. Or roast at whatever temperature you roast your bird. (The key is to over cook ’em a bit. You don’t want these al dente.)

Roasted roots and more for the holiday!
Try Brussels Sprouts and more in this Halloween Roast (so, it’s no Halloween:) I also like brussels sprouts roasted with bacon and shallots.

Here’s a stove top alternative side in an article I liked, featuring a Japanese take on root veggies. Burdock is hard to come by, but the recipe should work with any roots. Sesame oil can be strong, so I might cut it with some flavorless oil, but that’s me. A sprinkle of black sesame seeds might be nice too. Link here

After the holiday
When (or if) you’re ready to eat poultry again, try this for a one pot supper. Top a tray of roasted roots with organic chicken thighs — tossed in a touch of balsamic, olive oil, smoked paprika, rosemary and garlic — added chicken after the vegetables have cooked for 8-10 minutes. Crisp chicken, tasty roots.


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