Roasted Winter Root Veggies
Updated: Nov 23, 2019
When the summer is long gone, and the chill is definitely in the air, the need for warm comforting food is the only thing that seems to fill that void of grilled burgers and coleslaw. Everyone is trying to eat healthy after a summer of nightly ice cream cones, and too many french fries. This quick veggie dish "Roasted Winter Root Veggies" is not only easy to prepare, but delicious and pretty on the table! And, well you will quickly learn I LOVE that!
To prepare this side dish, I used Beets, Fennel and Carrots. Preheat your oven to 350 while you wash and prepare the veggies. These root veggies are naturally dirty when you get them at the farmers market, or your local produce market, so scrubbing them with a veggie brush is the best way to do this, you can use your fingers also, just make sure you remove all the debris especially since your most likely eating the skin of the carrots. For the beets, cut off the tops (leaves and stems), but leave the beets whole. The fennel is so wonderful in flavor (yes a bit like licorice) but when roasted it has a much sweeter flavor and scent as well. For this veggie you want to chop off the outer stalks, then cut the big bulb in 1/2 then 1/4's , always discard any discolored or wilted outside layers of the bulb. You can pull the bulb pieces apart a bit for cooking too, (think onion). Carrots, well this is the easiest of the three, chop off the stems and leaves and peel if you like, but I like to leave them unpeeled and whole since I buy organic. So did you scrub everything? Ok , just checkin ;) . Wear rubber gloves if your worried about staining your fingers when washing the beets.
Next, pile all these colorful veggies into your favorite bowl, drizzle a few tablespoons of good olive oil over them, then season with a few good pinches of coarse salt and ground pepper. (why coarse you ask?) Well, It sticks to the food better and makes for more even seasoning. I will add my herbs on top of the mixture so I don't add anything else at this stage. Now get in there and toss everything up with your hands, go ahead, hands do a better job here rather than a big ol spoon! Enough oil just to lightly coat. Now, to save on cleanup, two words ladies, Parchment Paper ! Put a nice piece down to cover your sheet pan, it should all fit on one, and spread the veggies all nicey nice on the pan. Now I prefer dill and thyme on my veggies, so just throw a few stems (about 4 total) over the veggies right on top. If you don't happen to have fresh herbs thats fine use dried, but don't go overboard, just a bit on top.
I cover my pan loosely with foil just laying it right on top, so nothing will get too brown. Pop the veggies in the oven for about 45 min - hour depending on how big your beets are. You can test the doneness with a knife, everything should be a soft enough to poke easily, but not mushy. I know this dish sounds a bit detailed, but I wanted to make sure I covered all the bases, some people just don't know about roasting root veggies. It's easy peasy trust me. The cool thing is, the carrots and fennel will be ready to eat, the BEETS still have the skin on, but now it will peel off nicely once they are cooked. Just let them cool, and be sure to wear rubber gloves, beets will stain your hands for sure!
I toss them while still warm with a little butter, (you know what they say ) then put them in a pretty serving bowl, and put a few fennel sprigs on top. Viola!
Prep time: 10 min, Cooking: 45-60 min.