This is my favorite side dish for an autumn or early winter dinner, especially as an accompaniment to braised short ribs or a roasted chicken. You can use most any combination of root vegetables except for beets, which will turn everything they touch magenta (try golden beets instead). Whole crimini mushrooms or whole Marcona almonds are a great addition as well. The key is keeping everything approximately the same size for even cooking.
Serves 4 to 6
1 pound carrots, sliced into 2-inch lengths2 turnips, peeled and sliced ¾-inch thick and each slice cut in half1 large sweet potato, cut into 1½-inch pieces2 large parsnips, sliced into 2-inch lengths2 large red onions, cut into 6-8 wedges6 whole shallots or cipollini onions, peeled8 cloves garlic, peeled4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil2 sprigs fresh thyme2 sprigs fresh rosemarysalt and fresh ground pepper
½ cup apple cider vinegar½ cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version2 Tablespoons butter1 Tablespoon maple syrup or honeyoptional: 1 tablespoon of brandy, Calvados, or bourbon
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss all prepared vegetables in the olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Arrange on one or two baking sheets in a single layer. This allows them to cook evenly and caramelize, adding depth of flavor. Roast for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine glaze ingredients in small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until sauce begins to reduce and thicken a bit. Check vegetables. If not yet al dente, turn over with a spatula and roast another 10 minutes (take care not to overcook). When vegetables are ready, transfer to serving bowl, toss in the glaze and serve immediately.
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