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Roasted Root Vegetables

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

Vegetables

1 pound carrots, sliced into 2-inch lengths

2 turnips, peeled and sliced ¾-inch thick and each slice cut in half

1 large sweet potato, cut into 1½-inch pieces

2 large parsnips, sliced into 2-inch lengths

2 large red onions, cut into 6-8 wedges

6 whole shallots or cipollini onions, peeled

8 cloves garlic, peeled

4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

salt and fresh ground pepper

Glaze

½ cup apple cider vinegar

½ cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version

2 Tablespoons butter

1 Tablespoon maple syrup or honey

optional: 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.