Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Maple Glazed Root Vegetables

I like cold-weather produce. Most of it stores well and is packed with a whopper of a nutritional punch. I don't stress about how many weeks my root vegetables have languished in my fridge---carrots, turnips, beets, rutubagas, radishes, kohlrabi will hang out for quite a while before they go bad. That's a good thing.

Occasionally, I come across a recipe like this which lets me use a bunch of root veggies at once. I raid the root vegetable drawer and drastically increase the amount of real estate in the crisper drawers. The amounts of vegetables in this recipe is kinda loosey-goosey. You don't have to use all these vegetables. Say if you have lots of turnips and sweet potatoes, don't go and buy a rutubaga for this (I wonder why anyone would ever pay for a rutubaga. It's definitely not one of my favorite roots). I know my vegetables weren't the size they were imagining--I had baby farm carrots, not big grocery store ones and small Hakerui Salad Turnips. I guessed amounts. You could also throw a parsnip in there if you had one. I didn't so I left it out. Just cut it into 2" pieces (about 1 c worth).

This recipe works perfectly on a rack in the oven sitting beneath a roasting chicken. Mmmm...I didn't actually eat these with supper, at which point I was a little unhappy because I doubted the restaurant I was going to could beat these (they couldn't). The tastes I had were great though and I can't wait to eat the leftovers.

This serves 4 - 6 as a side dish.

Maple-Glazed Roasted Root Vegetables
adapted Williams-Sonoma Cooking from the Farmers' Market

2 carrots, cut into 2" pieces (if using smaller carrots use 3 or 4)
5 - 6 small Hakerui Salad Turnips, cut into halves and quarters or 1 larger traditional turnip, cut into 2" pieces (I'd say about 2 c worth)
1/2 rutubaga, peeled and cut into 2" pieces (about 2 c worth)
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2" pieces (about 2 c worth)
1 red onion, cut into wedges (about 1 1/2 c worth)
2 - 3 T olive oil
1/4 c maple syrup (not Aunt Jemima type pancake syrup folks. Use the real thing!)
2 T butter, melted

In a large bowl, toss together all the vegetables with olive oil to coat. Season with 2 t salt and toss again. Spread the vegetables on a single layer on cookie sheet (with a silcone mat makes for much easier clean up). If they won't all fit on one, use two sheets (I had no problem with them all comfortably fitting on one without crowding). Roast vegetables in a preheated 400 degrees oven for 40 - 50 minutes until they develop a light crust and are tender. If you are using the oven for say a roasted chicken as well and the roast chicken is in a 425 degrees oven, just leave the oven set at 425 and start checking your vegetables earlier for tenderness. Occasionally stir and shake the pans to crisp sides of vegetables and prevent sticking.

While the vegetables roast, stir together maple syrup and butter in a small bowl. Brush over tender vegetables, return vegetables to oven and roast another 5 minutes, or until vegetables look glazed. Serve immediately.

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