We shared our garden space this year. This meant that I was harvesting foods that I normally wouldn’t have planted.
What to do with beets and turnips? The hubby swears he doesn’t like beets. He thinks they taste like mud. I think that he might be right in regards to soup, so I didn’t make any bright red soup. I was pretty sure I could make him enjoy a beet if I could get him to try it oven roasted. The trick would be to disguise it or at least make it a more minor player in the dish. I thought parsnips might be the answer; so I bought parsnips to roast with the turnips, beets, and carrots that came from the garden. The only thing left to decide was how complex the coating should be. For the first attempt I went with olive oil and Spike. It was a home run. No, really. A home run to the extent that every time we head to town we are buying parsnips.
There seems to be an assumption that for a food to be delicious, the recipe must be complex. This is a lie. I should have remembered. After all, one of my most favorite foods is a bowl of hot millet served with salted butter and molasses. So, it’s no surprise that this year’s favorite winter recipe happens to be dead simple. I may even forgive myself for a food rut. I know we are supposed to maintain a wide variety of foods in our diets, but that doesn’t play well with the fact that when something comes due in the garden, you eat a bunch of it, over and over until the harvest is done, or you become tired of it. Well we haven’t become tired of this yet. I make a full tray every time, and every time I wish I made twice as much. Today I think I’ll double it.
Roasted Root Veggie Goodness:
Preheat oven to 425*, you will need 1 large bowl, and a cookie sheet that is coated lightly with oil.
Peel and chunk the following four veggies to about the size of your thumb after the knuckle. The weights should be after cutting.
1 lb beets
1 lb turnips
1 lb carrots
1 lb parsnips
Olive oil (enough to coat)
Place all the veggies in the bowl, toss to coat with olive oil, sprinkle Spike so as to be evenly distributed.
Place on the cookie sheet, and bake at 425* for 45 minutes, stirring at 30 minutes. If the veggie size is fairly uniform, and the size described, it will be done in 45. Depending on the day’s humidity, how fresh from harvest the roots are, etc, this time can vary. You are looking for a bit of brown at the edges, and a sweet smell, which lets you know that the sugars in the veggies have caramelized. (In fact the only reason the pan is oiled, is because those sugars sometimes bake onto the pan and are difficult to clean away.)