Roots and Tubers Shine in This Winter Side

As anyone who’s followed this blog knows, I love me some good food. Always have. As a kid, I featured food in just about any fictional story I wrote.

So, I’ve got to share something I’ve been making a lot this fall/winter. Anyone can make it and it’s lovely if you are trying to eat with the seasons. The biggest time investment is slicing, and that takes 10 to 20 minutes, depending on root/tuber quantity and knife skills.

For this, you will need parsnips, carrots and potatoes. Because I like different colors, I’ve been using multi-hued carrots and purple/blue potatoes, but any carrots will work as will potatoes that hold their shape. I use three to eight parsnips (three, if they’re large, six to eight, if small), five to eight carrots, and two to three medium-sized potatoes.Multi-ColoredCarrots_LGlenn

Slice all of these into fairly thin disks.SlicingParsnips_LGlenn

Preheat the oven to 380 F.

On a large cookie sheet with sides, spread out enough foil so that the foil comes slightly above the sides.

Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on the foil.

Lay down the parsnips first. Be neat—or not. The main thing is to ensure you lay the root disks flat and that they don’t overlap much. Drizzle more EVOO on top of these.LayerofParsnips_LGlenn

Next, layer the carrots atop the parsnips the same way, ensuring they lay flat.

Drizzle a little less EVOO and sprinkle on Celtic sea salt (other salts are also okay, depending on what you’re going for) and black pepper, and begin to add whatever herbs you like. I use ground coriander and garlic here.LayeredParsnipsCarrots_LGlenn

Next, layer the tubers atop the roots, doing it the same way to ensure that everyone’s flat, not standing upright. Drizzle more EVOO, sprinkle more salt and pepper, as well as your herbs (here I add marjoram to the mix). You can dot the layers with garlic cloves, if you like.

About the herbs: Previously, I have ground everything together, to include rosemary along with the others I’ve mentioned. I prefer to grind the rosemary because I want to eat the rosemary, not leave it on the plate or have its needles stick in my teeth. (Plus, from an herbal standpoint, grinding means increasing the surface area and making more of what’s there available to the body.) I’ve used semi-fresh rosemary. What can I say? The sprigs were part of our plate decorations at a wedding and rosemary is too good to leave behind. So, no advance planning there, but otherwise I would need to remember to harvest a little beforehand.

Once the roots and tubers are ready, place in the preheated oven. It takes about 45 to 50 minutes for the three layers to bake. I set the timer at about 25 minutes so that I remember to flip the layers to some extent about mid-way through. That way, some of the disks end up crispy. I use the convect feature on the oven for the latter half of the time to ensure good air flow.ParsnipsCarrotsPotatoes_LGlenn

We’ve partnered this dish with bison, salmon and chicken and typically have something green to go with it (salad, green beans, peas, or cooked greens, such as chard). Any leftovers may be used again as a side—or in lieu of breakfast potatoes the next morning.

For people who cannot tolerate nightshades, omit the potatoes and you’ll still have a nice side dish.

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