Just about everything in the CSA Share Boxes this time of year can be roasted to perfection. Roasted root vegetables take on a deep caramelized color, with crisp outsides and tender insides. Once you have the basics down the possibilities are endless. Change up the size and shape of the vegetables, add aromatics, different oils. I like to roast big hunks of root vegetables in a cast iron skillet, and smaller diced vegetables on a thin baking sheet. I add just a little bit of butter for crispness, but the only essential ingredients are olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can go basic or fancy in your oil and salt choices. We use an everyday sea salt and an affordable extra virgin olive oil.
Pick out your vegetables. I used two large carrots, two bright pink turnips, and two small beets. Peel and chop them. Larger pieces=longer cooking time. Smaller pieces on a thin pan will yield crispier pieces. Both methods are equally good, just different. For this batch I went with large chunks. Whatever shape you choose, cut the vegetables uniformly.
Choose your pan. Toss the veggies in a tablespoon or two of olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Add 1/2 tablespoon – 1 tablespoon butter if desired. Roast at 400 – 425 F for 45 – 60 minutes. Toss every 15 minutes or so. Veggies are done when a fork easily slides through and edges are crisp.
Variations: Add aromatic herbs like rosemary, thyme, or sage. Lay rosemary or thyme sprigs over the top or add the minced leaves. Mix in smashed garlic cloves, big chunks of onion, or shallot. Try an herbed sea salt, coarser ground salt, freshly ground pepper, or spice blends.
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