Roasted Root Veggies…They’re Good For You

“You gotta eat your veggies.” “Vegetables are good for you.” How many times have we heard similar phrases? We know that vegetables are healthy and should be incorporated into our diet. Unfortunately, however, vegetables are not always the most appetizing food.

But one thing is certain: it’s not the vegetables themselves that aren’t good, but the way we cook them. Let’s be honest, who wants soggy, overcooked, vegetables? Not us, and that’s banned in our household.

And while salads can be good and quick to prepare, variety is really the spice of life. So in the past years we have been experimenting with different vegetable dishes, especially ones that combine taste and healthiness.

One of our favorites, for more reasons than one, is roasted root vegetables. And while it’s still technically summer, we noticed a lot of root vegetables at the vegetable sellers in Borough Market. So last weekend, we decided to make a large dish.

The first time we made the dish, we followed a recipe from Williams-Sonoma‘s Christmas recipe book, but over time we’ve started adapting it to our preferences. This is what we used:

  • 16 baby potatoes (we normally try to find red potatoes, but didn’t find them this time)
  • 5 turnips, cut in wedges
  • 2 parsnips
  • 4 carrots
  • 3 fennel bulbs, cut in pieces
  • 10 shallots, halved
  • head of garlic
  • 5 beets, cut in wedges
  • thyme & rosemary (we used dried)
  • olive oil
  • garlic confit

You will also need a good vegetable peeler. We have this Joseph Joseph peeler that we like, mostly because you don’t have to worry about misplacing the cover for the blade, since the blades — a peeler and a julienne blade — actually turn into the housing so that the peeler can be safely stored.

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Peeling the vegetables will take a while, but we believe it’s well worth the effort. The original recipe calls or mincing the garlic and sprinkling it on the vegetables midway through cooking. We love roasted cloves, so we actually just toss whole cloves with the vegetables. The process is very simple. Once all the vegetables have been peeled (except the potatoes) and cut into more or less equal pieces, toss them in a large bowl and mix them well. We prepared a dressing by mixing a couple of tablespoons of garlic confit with olive oil and adding some thyme and rosemary, and then adding it to the bowl of vegetables and mixing well, using our hands. Yes, it can get messy, but it’s worth it.

Saturday’s batch was quite big so we divided the veggies in two ceramic baking dishes. The ideal temperature is 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 Celsius), but if there’s something else being cooked, we just adjust the temperature according to what the other dish requires. The cooking will take a while, probably around 90 minutes depending on how efficient the oven is, and you need to stir the vegetables every 10-15 minutes. Cook them until the vegetables are tender but not falling apart.

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They smell delicious too!

One of the reasons we love this dish is that we make it makes for delicious leftovers. In fact, the vegetables are arguably better the following day since the flavors have had more time to mingle. It makes for a fantastic dinner party dish since all you need is to reheat in a baking dish or in a pan on the stove. Plus it’s healthy and did we mention it’s really, really good?

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