Roasted Parsnips and Turnips with Maple Glaze

This dish is easy to throw together and has big impact in the flavor department. Given that vegetable sizes are not exact, the measurements for the oil, butter, and salt are more of a guideline, and should be adjusted as needed. Be sure not to have too much liquid in the pan bottom or you may get mushy vegetables. A little bit of liquid in the pan bottom is fine, and will make a nice sauce at the end to be poured over the vegetables.

INGREDIENTS:

4 medium sized parsnips, about 3/4 lb.
3 medium Tokyo turnips, or 2 average sized regular turnips
1/2 brown onion, split through the root, sliced in half again through the root
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and de-germed
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or other neutral flavored oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter*
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
2-inch sprig of fresh rosemary
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Lightly oil an ovenproof dish that is large enough to hold the vegetables without too much crowding. Crowding will result in mushy stewed vegetables.

Peel the parsnips and turnips and cut into irregular pieces around 1 inch by ½ inch. Place the cut vegetable into a large bowl.

Peel the onion and slice across the length into roughly ½ inch thick quarter-moon slices. Break up the slices and sprinkle into the vegetable bowl.

Place a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add the oil. When the oil is warmed, add the butter and the garlic. When the mixture is fragrant and the garlic is starting to color, remove the garlic. Add the maple syrup.

Strip the rosemary needles from the stem and add to the mixture. Stir well and heat to flavor the sauce. If you prefer a stronger rosemary flavor and more rustic look, leave the needles in the sauce when you pour it on the vegetables. For a subtler flavor and cleaner look, strain the sauce as you pour it on.

Pour the sauce over the vegetables and stir to evenly coat the contents of the bowl. Salt and pepper to taste and toss to evenly coat.

Add contents of bowl to ovenproof dish and cover with a tight fitting lid or aluminum foil, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the lid and check the vegetables. They should feel tender and be easily pierced by the tip of a thin sharp knife. If not, re-cover and cook another 5 minutes until ready.

When the vegetables are tender, return them to the oven uncovered and cook until they have browned and developed crisp edges. This should take 10 to 15 minutes. (Be sure to keep an eye out the first couple times as all ovens run a little differently. You may need to adjust times or temperatures to accommodate your oven.)

Serve and enjoy.

*You can use all oil, or an extra spoonful of oil and less butter if you wish, but the butter really does add a lot of flavor to the dish that helps make it special.

VARATION: Different herbs can be used, or a dash of orange juice might be nice as well. Try this with different vegetables such as rutabagas, carrots, watermelon radish, or even with daikon radish.

YIELD: Serves 4

SOURCE: Chef Andrew Cohen