Monday, May 2, 2011

Roasted Root Vegetables: Parsnips, Carrots and Apricots

Article first published as Roasted Carrots and Parsnips with Apricots and Herbs on Blogcritics.

Yummy!  Is there anything better than roasted root vegetables?  If you don't agree, you're missing out!  Roasting brings out their sweetness and deepens their aroma, preserves all their wonderful vibrant color and vitamins, and allows for great flavor enhancement without a lot of added fat.

Today I saw some gorgeous parsnips and apricots at the market so I decided to feature those, but you could change this up based on what’s available.  By the way, you’ll notice in my picture that I julienned the vegetables – don’t.  I think they would be better in larger chunks to preserve some of their texture while still cooking long enough to really caramelize the outside.   

I think this would be a classic side dish for roasted pork and some greens, but I chose to serve it tonight with chicken legs basted with a honey BBQ sauce,  a mixed greens salad with sliced apples, dried pears, almonds, gorgonzola cheese. and a balsamic vinaigrette.  Since it’s Saturday, we also downed a luscious Riesling and rounded out the evening with a low fat pumpkin praline cake. Totally scrumptious!  Here’s how to make it:


Cooking spray
1 lb. carrots, peeled
1 lb. parsnips, peeled
2 Tbsp Olive oil
¼ red onion, cut into chunks
3 fresh apricots, cut into 1/8th’s
1 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp. fresh thyme, removed from stems
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. Peel the parsnips and carrots and cut into even-sized chunks.  Toss in a bowl with the olive oil, thyme, rosemary, red onions, and salt & pepper to taste. Spread evenly in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Melt butter in the microwave and stir in the maple syrup.  Pull the vegetables from the oven and shake them around a little.  Add the apricots to the baking sheet and drizzle the top with the maple/butter mixture.  Return to the oven for 15-20 minutes until the fruit and vegies are nicely caramelized and fragrant.

Enjoy!!  This dish tastes decadent but it’s packed with vitamin, fiber and antioxidants.  It’s relatively low in fat, easy enough for a child to make, and economical.  Plus, I’ll bet it’s a nice change from your regular rotation of vegetable side dishes.  You could substitute pears or nectarines for the apricots and omit the parsnips or replace them with fennel, based on what is in season and available at your local market.  Have fun with it!  Want to know more about parsnips?  Read more here: 

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