The Perfect Roasted Root Vegetable Medley

For a long time, I thought I didn’t like most vegetables; I never went out of my way to make it eat them. Most of the time, I’d buy fresh vegetables, convincing myself that I would be a healthy adult and eat some greenery, and then three weeks later, they would end up uneaten and wilted in the trash. Once I started regularly cooking, I discovered the real problem: it wasn’t the vegetables themselves that I disliked, but how they were cooked.

While there is nothing wrong with a plate of steamed, mixed vegetables, that simple, bland preparation is not crave-able. Roasting, the cooking method I prefer, enhances the vegetables’ natural flavor, rather than stripping them of it. Roasting at high heat and seasoning is my secret to getting in my five a day. Think about it: when you cook chicken or steak, you’re careful to season liberally and cook the meat just to the right temperature. We have to do the same with vegetables! Bland, overcooked, and limp vegetables do not a satisfying side dish make.

I love this roasted root vegetable medley to no end. I use sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and golden potatoes. This mix provides a great contrast in flavor: buttery potato, earthy parsnip, and sweet carrot. Roasting this mix at high heat also leads to an ideal texture: crispy on the outside, pillowy and soft on the inside. To achieve vegetable perfection, ensure that you chop all the vegetables the same size so that they cook evenly. Also, while the oven is preheating, put the sheet pans in the oven to heat up. That way, the instant you place the veggies on the pan, their outsides start to brown.

This side dish goes great with any meal. Depending on the cuisine I’m making, I’ll change up the spices. For example, if I’m serving them with enchiladas, I’ll go for paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and a bit of chili powder. I enjoy oregano, rubbed sage, basil, rosemary, and thyme if it's alongside something Italian. If I’m looking for a vegetarian meal, I’ll add this mix to whole wheat pasta with pesto for a filling, meatless meal. One more note on seasoning: rubbed sage is the unspoken king of herbs! It adds a deeply savory flavor profile to the dish; if it’s not in your spice cabinet, it’s definitely worth adding. This recipe is endlessly adaptable, so go forth and eat those veggies!

Recipe

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato. peeled

2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, washed and dried

2 large carrots, peeled

4 parsnips, peeled

1 1/2 tsp pepper

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp each of the following spices of your choosing:

Smoked paprika

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Dried thyme

Dried basil

Dried oregano

Rubbed sage

Cumin

Ground coriander

2 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

1. Preheat to 475F. Place a large sheet pan in the oven.

2. Chop all the vegetables into same-sized pieces: about 1-inch pieces.

3. Once the oven is preheated, remove the sheet pan. Careful: pan will be hot. Pour olive oil evenly around the pan.

4. Add vegetables and shake to coat with oil. Add desired spices, plus salt and pepper, evenly over the vegetables. Use whatever spices fit your desired flavor profile best. Toss around with a spatula to get spices to coat evenly.

5. Roast in the oven for 30–40 minutes, turning vegetables over with a spatula every ten minutes. Cook until vegetables are crisp, shrunken in size, and browned. You should be able to pierce the potato with a fork without any resistance.

Serving Suggestions:

Leftovers of this mix go wonderfully in a morning egg scramble or frittata.

Balsamic glaze is a tasty accompaniment. I drizzle a bit over the top; it adds a nice sharp tang to the earthy, spiced vegetables.

I also enjoy adding these to my version of a Chipotle burrito bowl: think brown rice, beans, salsa, guacamole, and these vegetables.

Enjoy!

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