Roasted winter vegetables
Flavored with a little rosemary and thyme, this dish can stand on its own or serve as a fine accompaniment to meat, fish or grains. To add a slight tang, you may want to add a drizzle of high-quality balsamic vinegar just before bringing the dish to the table.
The recipe below combines carrots, parsnips, potatoes and red onions. But you can be endlessly inventive in your choice of veggies. Other possibilities include finocchio, turnips, pumpkin, squash, Jerusalem artichokes, sweet potatoes, Belgian endive, celeriac…
3-4 young potatoes
2 red onions
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
1 branch rosemary, or 1 tsp. dried rosemary
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. high quality balsamic vinegar (optional)
fresh herbs for garnish (optional)
Peel the carrots and parsnips and slice off the ends. Slice the carrots in half or quarters lengthwise and the parsnips into manageable pieces.
Rinse the potatoes. Chop into largish chunks.
Peel the red onions, slice off the ends and chop lengthwise and crosswise.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (350 F, 180 C).
Set the timer to 45 minutes. When it rings, remove the veggies from the oven, give them a stir, sprinkle with salt and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. If they seem dry, you may want to add a little more oil.
Return to the oven for 3o minutes. Remove and taste. If they are tender, they are done. If not, return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
If using balsamic vinegar, drizzle it on just before serving. If you like, snip some fresh herbs over the veggies — parsley or cilantro, for example — although the flavors of the roasted vegetables themselves are so intense that additional flavor is not really necessary.
Serve accompanied by a hearty red wine. Serves 2 as a main course, 3-4 as a side dish.