Give it up for what lies beneath the soil,
that which grows from the darkness,
as from our roots we start forth,
as from our roots we begin anew.
Poetry may not my specialty but roasting root vegetables, I like to think, is. Let's start with an unlikely frontrunner ~ the parsnip.
Parsnip Front & Center
Parsnips are not to be ignored. I grew up with them in stews or surrounding a roast. Their sweetness and unique taste comes through when eaten raw (try it with hummus!) or roasted, caramelized sugars bronzing the outer skin and softening the insides.
Carrots of Today
Carrots today are not the carrots of our youth. You know, the simple orange spikes found in the produce aisles, as if no other color existed in the carrot family. Today, we find carrots in a rainbow of colors and hues. A quick note on the "baby" carrot ~ skip it. We’re finally getting the news on the waste that comes in selling a “baby” carrot. Rather, reach out to the farmers who sell them with leafy tops in tact or at the very least, bunched beautifully with a few bits of dirt still hanging on. And save the leafy tops for stock, if you are so inclined.
Roasting the Root Vegetables
To roast, simply rub down the root vegetables with a little olive oil, salt and lay flat on parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place in a broiler or oven at 400 F until outsides are browned and insides are softened (meaning, you can insert a knife into the root easily). Display as they deserve to be treated ~ as works of art.