I love roasting vegetables. There’s something about the slight caramelization combined with the perfect amount of seasoning that is irresistible. Another plus: it’s really easy. When I’m cooking for myself on a busy weekday, there’s nothing easier than prepping whatever vegetables are in my fridge and throwing them in the oven. Set a timer and in 20-30 minutes dinner is served (well, part of it at least). I roast a lot of vegetables for the holidays as well. “No muss-no fuss” is the way to go when you’re cooking for a large group of people.
Usually when I roast vegetables, I keep it simple by just using olive oil, salt, and pepper. I adjust the seasoning at the end, if needed, making sure that the salt is bringing out the natural sweetness of the vegetable and that the pepper is giving a subtle peppery bite. I roast them until they are tender but still firm (you don’t want mushy vegetables). The edges get brown and a little crispy, which is the best part. While I usually eat the roasted vegetables by themselves, other occasions call for added components to make the dish a little special.
Both carrots and parsnips always end up on our table around Thanksgiving time, so each year I try something new. This recipe turned out to be my favorite. While the vegetables are roasting, I make an apple glaze. At home, I have a juicer, so I juice whole apples to get extremely fresh apple juice for the base of the glaze. (Store bought apple juice will work just as well.) To the juice, I add apple cider vinegar for acidity and honey for sweetness. Just a touch of molasses creates a rich, robust flavor. This combination reduces down until it is thick and glossy, perfect for coating the vegetables and drizzling over the entire dish. I also make a very simple whipped goat cheese as a bed for the carrots and parsnips. The combination of creamy goat cheese and silky glaze pairs perfectly with the vegetables.
- 1 lb carrots, peeled & quartered lengthwise
- 1 lb parsnips, peeled & quartered lengthwise
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup apple juice
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 6 oz goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the carrots and parsnips onto a baking sheet in one even layer. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to caramelize. (Give the vegetables a toss 10 minutes into the cooking process.)
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the apple juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, and molasses to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and let the mixture cook down until it has thickened enough to coat the carrots and parsnips as a glaze.
- In a food processor, whip the goat cheese while drizzling in the olive oil. Add the salt and pepper. Process until smooth.
- Toss the roasted carrots and parsnips with ¾ of the sweet apple glaze. Check the vegetables for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if necessary. Spread the whipped goat cheese onto a plate and place the carrots and parsnips on top. Spoon the rest of the glaze over the entire dish.