Have you ever wanted to make a recipe purely because you saw it on Pinterest and thought it looked absolutely fabulous?
Occasionally my team at work host themed potlucks and invite other teams to join us. This usually means we pick something like ‘meat and cheese’ or ‘will it dip?’, and everyone brings something that fits into that theme. Our most recent was a ‘onesie and bring anything’ potluck. Before we even talk about food, I have to say that I was completely blown away by how many of my co-workers own onesies. Kangaroos, monkeys, loud flannels… it was quite a sight to see.
This potluck happened on a particularly busy week, and therefore despite grand intentions to source a onesie of my own, it didn’t happen. I did however, contribute a veggie platter with a mean I-didn’t-mean-to-make-it-this-good chipotle hummus (recipe to come soon) that got some pretty rave reviews.
One of my co-workers who was feeling much more ambitious than I decided to attempt making a piecaken. If it sounds like a foreign term and you don’t have time to read this article from the New York Times about the trend, it’s a pie, baked into a cake. If my grandpa were still alive this is the type of thing he’d be ALL. OVER. When asked at celebrations which of the 6 squillion desserts available he’d like, his response was almost always “Oh just a sliver of each!” I have no idea how many cavities the man had, but something tells me I don’t have enough fingers to count them.
Anyways. Piecaken. My co-worker successfully made a beautiful piecaken. Unfortunately that’s not what I’ve got for you today, but I do have something pretty great (and significantly more waistline-friendly).
A lot of people browse Pinterest for things like the most sinful brownies ever created, but when you write a (mostly) healthy food blog, I usually drool over things made with – get ready to file me right under the crazy category – fruit or vegetables or both. I’ve had this pinned for a really long time because I think it’s absolutely beautiful:
… and last weekend in a stroke of strong-willed enthusiasm and I-MUST-make-this-dish-of-magnificent-beauty determination, I brought a variation of it to life in my very own kitchen.
I learned 3 lessons while making this recipe, which I’ll call Herb Roasted Root Vegetables:
Lesson 1: The next time I so much as even think about shooting food on a tablecloth, I will go out and buy an iron. The majority of photos taken of the finished dish are not included here because….. #wrinklesfordays.
Lesson 2: This isn’t really the kind of recipe that you make when the company is on their way over to your house for a holiday feast. I’m not going to lie here – the mandolin slicing (or knife work, depending on how comfortable you are with chopping slivers of root vegetables without doing the same with your own fingers) takes a few extra minutes, as does the arranging in the casserole dish. But it’s alllllllll going to be worth it in the end.
Lesson 3: For some very bizarre reason, cooking golden beets alongside turnips, butternut squash and pink beets makes the golden ones turn green. Odd? Extremely. But they still taste really good.
Feel free to use whatever root vegetables you like for this recipe. If you’re not into beets, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, other types of squash and even eggplant would all be great substitutes. The more colour the better!
Herb Roasted Root Vegetables
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Ingredients (6 as a side)
- 2 parsnips or turnips, about 2″ diameter
- 3-4 purple beets, about 2″ diameter
- 3-4 golden beets, about 2″ diameter
- 1 medium butternut squash, about 2″ diameter
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh herbs such as rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme and parsley
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Note: Aim to try to find turnips, beets and squash that are about the same diameter so that they’ll line up uniformly in your casserole dish. You can always trim them after slicing in order to make them fit, but it’s easiest if you can find equally-sized ones from the beginning! My dish is 10″x6″ but you may need more vegetables than called for above if yours is larger.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Wash and peel the parsnips, beets and squash. Trim as needed and slice into very thin circles using a mandolin slicer or knife. Try to get these as uniform as possible.
In separate bowls (ie beets in one bowl, squash in another etc), toss the vegetables in a little olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle generously with fresh herbs, as well as a little sea salt and black pepper.
Arrange the vegetables in a baking dish (mine is small – 10×6″), lining up a few slices of each type at a time. Use your fingers to stuff any leftover herbs in between slices.
Put the dish in the oven and roast for 40-45 minutes. If you want the tops to be a bit crispy, broil for the final 1-2 minutes of cooking.
So tell me…
- Are you hosting any get togethers over the holidays?
- What’s on your holiday menu?