- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I was stunned at Thanksgiving dinner when I saw people filling their plates not only with turkey and dressing, but also with mounds of roasted carrots and parsnips, a humble combination of vegetables if ever there were one.

During our meal, family members repeatedly sang the praises of this dish. I sat quietly with a smile on my face because I had contributed it.

This scenario was proof that winter vegetables can be just as enticing as their summer counterparts, especially when roasted. In the cold months, there’s a bounty of choices. Fennel, sweet potatoes and turnips all take well to oven cooking, and you can even roast sliced cabbage and brussels sprouts with great results.

For the roasted-carrots-and-parsnips duo, I halve the vegetables lengthwise, drizzle them with olive oil, then season them with salt and pepper. After about half an hour in the oven, the vegetables become charred on the outside and tender within. A simple sauce made with butter, honey and balsamic vinegar deliciously complements the pair.

The carrots and parsnips are a versatile side dish to use for winter entertaining. They make a delectable accompaniment to baked ham or a pork roast, or you could try them with broiled or grilled lamb chops or sauteed chicken or veal scallops. Whatever you serve them with, these vegetables are likely to become the surprise attraction of your next entertaining menu.

Honey-glazed roasted carrots and parsnips

1 pounds slim parsnips

1 pounds slim carrots

1/3 cup olive oil plus 1 to 2 tablespoons extra oil, if needed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 teaspoons unsalted butter

4 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Arrange two racks at center and lower positions of the oven, and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line two rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil.

Peel carrots and parsnips, and trim stem ends. Halve the vegetables lengthwise. (If either carrots or parsnips are more than an inch and a half in diameter at the widest point, quarter them lengthwise.) Divide carrots and parsnips evenly between the two pans.

Drizzle vegetables in each pan with half of the olive oil, then stir with a wooden spoon until vegetables are coated, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons more oil if needed. Season vegetables in each pan with a teaspoon of salt and several grindings of black pepper.

Roast vegetables in preheated 400-degree oven, stirring with a wooden spoon every 10 minutes. After 20 minutes, reverse pans top to bottom. Cook vegetables until slightly charred on the outside and tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 30 to 35 minutes total. When done, remove from oven and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt butter, then remove from heat and stir in honey and balsamic vinegar.

Transfer carrots and parsnips to a serving platter. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Drizzle honey mixture over vegetables and toss gently. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.




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