We are up to our eyeballs in root vegetables. We picked up the third and final installment of our Shared Harvest CSA yesterday and our fridges are full of parsnips, carrots, turnips, and celeriac while our basement closet is stocked with white and sweet potatoes. Admittedly, we tend to get a little complacent about preparing our roots. Our standard approach is to wash/peel/chop whichever vegetables we have handy, toss them with olive oil and salt, and roast them on a cookie sheet until they are tender enough to eat. While this is certainly a tasty and easy approach, it can get monotonous when you use the same preparation technique over and over.
However, there is a real appeal to cooking these vegetables this way. The high heat of the oven caramelizes the sugars that most root vegetables are full of and softens the bite of strong vegetables like parsnips. Plus, it is easy to clean and chop the vegetables while the kids are napping, then simply toss them into the oven about an hour before dinner. Vegetables are on the table and there was no complicated or labor intensive prep.
In the name of maintaining the delicious simplicity of roasting, we decided to try this recipe for Marsala wine roasted root vegetables. The addition of butter, thyme, sage, and Marsala wine adds a welcome complexity to the flavor of the roots. The mix of sweet carrots and potatoes, sharp parsnips, and earthy turnips creates a nice balance to the dish. Serve it alongside roasted pork or chicken for a lovely winter meal.
Marsala Roasted Root Vegetables
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Favorites
1/2 lb carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
1/2 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
1/2 lb turnips, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
1/2 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 tbls butter
1 tlbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried sage
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Marsala wine
2 tbls chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil. Add the carrots, parsnips, and turnips and simmer until the vegetables give slightly when pierced with a fork, about 4 minutes. Drain well.
Place all the vegetables in a large roasting pan that has been lined with aluminum foil (for the sake of easy clean up). In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the olive oil, thyme, sage, and nutmeg and stir to mix well. Drizzle butter mixture over the vegetables and toss to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the Marsala wine into the bottom of the pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Roast for 40 minutes. Remove the foil, toss the vegetables, and continue to roast, uncovered, until the Marsala evaporates and the vegetables can be easily pierced with a knife, 10-20 minutes more. Remove vegetables to a platter and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
Serve immediately. Serves 4 as a side dish.