Herb Roasted Root Vegetables

by Jenn on January 11, 2012

in Budget,Dairy Free,Gluten Free,Vegetarian

Lemon & Herb Roasted Root Vegetables

I have hit the ground running with my expedition into the land of root vegetables.  This week I have eaten celery root, parsnips, jerusalem artichokes, and there are even carrots sitting in my fridge.   My first foray of the year into root vegetables was to try them simply – I wanted to taste their flavor, with mere accents to the palate rather than covering them up by drowning them in butter or cheese (as tempting and always tasty as that may be).

I believe in understanding the true flavor of an ingredient before getting too inventive with it – after all, what is the point of a food that cannot be tasted?  How do you ever really know if you will like it or not if you cannot identify its inherent flavor?  I think roasting vegetables is a great way to try new ones, because it’s an easy cooking process and yet still preserves the texture unlike boiling something forever. I grew up with enough over-boiled veggies (well, at least I consider them over-boiled) in my day to know that boiling is not my preferred method for cooking vegetables – well except maybe beans.  So when I have no idea what I am going to do with something, oven-roasting is usually the route I tend to go.

This is celery root.

Celeriac

It was not my first time eating celeriac (celery root) – I first really fell in love with it as a mash, not too differently than one would make mashed potatoes.  I already knew I liked celery root, because of its mild though slightly bitter celery flavor, and in fact I do think of it as a very large and ugly celery flavored potato of sorts.

This is a parsnip.

Parsnip

I’ve never deliberately chosen to eaten a parsnip until now.  Maybe it’s because they look so much like carrots, my long standing nemesis (well, once they are cooked).  I’m sure I’ve had them in dishes I’ve eaten in restaurants, etc., but this definitely marked the first time I’d ever actually bought any to cook and eat in my kitchen.

I figured combining the two root vegetables together in one dish would allow each of their flavors to come through but also blend together. And then I did what I usually do when it comes to roasting things – cut them up and dressed them with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic slices, thyme, chives and salt and pepper.  How can one go wrong with a little citrus, garlic and herbs?  That combination goes well with just about everything.

How did I like them? I actually think I prefer celery root as a mash – roasting it turned it a little too bitter for my taste.  However the parsnips were fantastic.  I have truly been missing out not cooking parsnips all these years, and you can bet they will find their way into my market trips from now on!

What new foods have you been trying lately?

 

Also submitted to Gluten Free Wednesdays and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Meeta January 11, 2012 at 9:54 pm

OOh this is my dish for sure. I totally adore parsnip! You say it beautifully – getting to know the flavor of the vegetable and then there is a wonderful variety of pairing and experimenting. Have fun!

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Jenn January 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Thanks Meeta!!

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Rosa January 11, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Those are two of my favorite root veggies. A wonderful recipe! I often make something very similar when I buy celery or parsnips.

A great project! Enjoy experimenting.

Cheers,

Rosa

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Jenn January 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Thanks Rosa!

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Liz Marr, MS, RD @ Liz On Food January 11, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Great work promoting these underconsumed healthful root veggies. Both are delicious. And your recipe sounds amazing.

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Jenn January 12, 2012 at 8:05 am

Thanks so much!

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Lisa January 11, 2012 at 11:59 pm

I love celeriac and really love parsnip. I call it the sweeter carrot (you really don’t like carrots?). This dish looks wonderful! Only you and your eye could make white look gorgeous and mouth watering :)

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Jenn January 12, 2012 at 8:06 am

Ha yeah cooked carrots have never been my thing – raw in slaws and salads are perfectly ok, but i’ve never been a fan of cooked carrots – I’m convinced I just havent’ found the best way to prepare them yet :)

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Lisa in Indianapolis January 12, 2012 at 12:57 am

Thank you for your recipe, Jenn. I love roasted vegetables; they are addictive and like eating candy. I will roast a pan of: carrots, rutabegas, turnips, onions, zucchini and don’t forget the garlic cloves – all tossed in a bowl of olive oil and roasted at 400 for about 45 min. Once I covered it with aluminum foil and they were sadly not good – you have to leave them uncovered to get that roast. That celeraic glaring at me from its basket in the produce dept. looks like it might attack but I will trust you and try it, along with the parsnip next time! I appreciate your website so much. I believe I’ve developed a late in life gluten intolerance as if I’ve eaten anything with gluten (bread, cookies), my hands start to ache almost immediately. I’m trying to figure out what I can and cannot eat. Your blog helps and SO MANY gluten-related blogs you have!!!

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Jenn January 12, 2012 at 8:07 am

ha celeriac does look a bit gnarly and intimidating – but it’s got a great flavor I promise :) Your roasted root veggie mix sounds wonderful!

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Jennifer (Delicieux) January 12, 2012 at 2:27 am

I’ve never tried celeriac, but I do love parsnip, and your plate of roasted vegetables looks amazing!!! Such beautiful photos too. You make humble vegetables such as celery root and parsnip look so beautiful.

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Jenn January 12, 2012 at 8:08 am

Oh thank you Jennifer!

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Simone January 12, 2012 at 8:08 am

I love root vegetables. My mum managed to pretty much overcook just about anything we ate as kids so it was a revelation when I started cooking myself. Celeriac is one of my favorite foods but I use it in mashes and soups mostly. Parsnips are indeed great roasted. Love them too!

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Jenn January 12, 2012 at 8:13 am

Thanks Simone! Yeah I found it’s really fun to explore making veggies on my own, because it’s erasing any bad memories I had from certain vegetables growing up (well, except carrots!).

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Kathy January 12, 2012 at 8:27 am

This looks divine!
A new food that I’ve tried recently is fresh cranberries. When people said they were tart, they were NOT kidding! Haha ^^ But goes great in baked goods.

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Jenn January 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Thanks! I love fresh cranberries :)

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Sara {Home is Where the Cookies Are} January 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm

I love roasting as a means to prepare veggies. I also admire your experimentation method. I have never had celery root, but I imagined it much like you describe. I have eaten parsnips before, but not roasted. One of my favorite combinations for roasted vegetables is butternut squash, carrots, red potatoes, and sweet potatoes – I think maybe parsnips would be at home in that mix! You’ve inspired me to give it a try!

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Jenn January 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Thanks so much, have fun with parsnips!

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Sarah January 12, 2012 at 3:13 pm

I love celeriac. I love parsnips. I’ve never, however, tried them together! Will have to give this a go. Thanks for the inspiration!

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Jenn January 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Thanks, hope you enjoy!

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Brian @ A Thought For Food January 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm

This is my favorite kind of dish! Root vegetables don’t need a whole lot to make them taste wonderful… but some herbs are just what they need. Beautiful!

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Jenn January 12, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Thanks Brian!

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Alyce@culinarythymes January 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm

I love roasted root veggies. They are amazing when they get a little caramelization on them.

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Jenn January 12, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Yes indeed :)

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Nancy@acommunaltable January 12, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Hi Jenn,

Good for you for challenging yourself to try foods you aren’t enamored of!! I love root vegetables and you are spot on – roasting them is definitely the way to go! I love celeriac puree as well and I have to say that the celeriac and lentil salad by Ottolenghi is fabulous!
I can’t wait to see what you experiment with next!!

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The Healthy Apple January 13, 2012 at 3:46 am

A perfectly clean, healthy recipe…just the way I like it! Lovely, Jenn.
xoox

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Jenn January 14, 2012 at 10:29 am

Thanks so much :)

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Gerry/Gewoon Lekker Gewoon January 13, 2012 at 9:12 am

I discovered parsnip only this week as part of my New Years resolution to eat more unfamiliar stuff. Realy love it, deep carrot tast with (to me) a hint of banana (!?).
Already loved the celeriac, also nice to stirfry with some currypowder and a little sesameoil! Very easy vegetable, I thow it into soups, casserols and pasta’s all the time since the size is often too large for one recipe. You can keep it for at least 1-2 weeks in the fridge/dark cupboard, like carrots. Many greetings from Holland.

http://gewoonlekkergewoon.blogspot.com/2012/01/niet-meer-onbekend-en-zeker-bemind.html

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Jenn January 14, 2012 at 10:31 am

Thanks, and thanks for sharing some great ideas!

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chinmayie @ love food eat January 13, 2012 at 11:32 am

I think simply roasting is one of the best ways to enjoy any vegetable. Looks great :)

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Jenn January 14, 2012 at 10:31 am

Yeah I’m a huge fan of roasting too – thanks!!

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Jonathan January 14, 2012 at 2:29 am

You really can’t beat the combination of colder weather, shorter days, and roasting root vegetables. They just go together.

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Jenn January 14, 2012 at 10:34 am

Thanks Jonathan!

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tinytearoom January 14, 2012 at 10:15 am

I am also guilty of drenching my vegetables full of butter and cheese, especially during the colder months. I have never eaten celeriac, I must give it a try when it comes into season here in Sydney. Thank you for the recipe for the parsnip. I tried to roast once and it failed miserably :(

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Jenn January 14, 2012 at 10:38 am

Thanks!! Definitely give celeriac a try, it’s one of my favorite root vegetables :)

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torviewtoronto January 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm

wonderfully flavoured looks delicious

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InTolerantChef January 16, 2012 at 2:11 am

Two of my very favourite vegetables in the world! Celariac makes an awesome puree or soup and parsnips caramelise beautifully. I have them both growing in my veggie garden.

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Shannon Brown January 16, 2012 at 5:15 am

I’ve been wanting to try parsnips. I know they’re supposed to be good so I guess it’s time. My new food was homemade sunflower seed butter. It’s a bit bitter so I see why sugar’s often added to the commercial but the flavor grew on me.

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Kate January 16, 2012 at 11:47 am

Celeriac is also delicious when sliced and steamed in a steam pot, then sautéed with a bit of butter in a frying pan! I’ll have to try roasting it next. Lovely photos!

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Rochelle (@AcquiredLife) January 17, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Gorgeous photos! I don’t recall using celeriac other than in soup, and I can’t even remember if I liked it or not! I’ll give the mash a go, but maybe after I roast them like this.

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Jenn January 17, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Thanks Rochelle!

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Linda January 18, 2012 at 1:29 am

I agree about boiling vegetables, but I do like them steamed as long as they are not over cooked. I’ve never cooked with celery root or parsnips. After reading about your experience, I think I will look for parsnips at the store next time.

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Jenn January 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Thanks Linda!

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Jeanne @ CookSister! January 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm

I agree 100% – roasting is a great way to isolate and intensify the flavour of a vegetable so you can make up your mind about it and decide what will match well with it. I did not grow up with parsnips and did not really see the point of them – like carrots without the pretty orange colour! But roasted until their natural sweetness is released, they are fabulous. I also find celeriac a biit tough once roasted, but love it in mash… or soups… or my beloved celeriac remoulade!

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Jenn January 20, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Thanks Jeanne – I will have to look up your celeriac remoulade!

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Nikki November 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm

It’s funny to see so many people saying that parsnips are like a sweeter version of carrots… I have only eaten parsnips once, and that was raw, and it was unbarably bitter – I couldn’t even eat it. On the other hand, a good carrot can be sweet as candy, even without any roasting…. maybe I just had a really bad parsnip… I want to give them another chance, but try roasting it this time…. Will the sweetness come out if I use only the scantest amount of oil?

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Jenn November 2, 2012 at 8:29 am

I think the problem was eating it raw…. I’ve only ever had them roasted… I don’t think the olive oil contributes to the sweetness so I think you can use as much or as little as you like :)

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Nikki November 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Thanks, I am going to play Roastamentation (roasting experimentation) soon. Next time I get groceries I’m going to pick up a parsnip, a few brussel’s sprouts (something I normally really dislike, but hear people rave about how good they are once roasted), and maybe even some celeriac. Have you ever roasted celeriac (celery root)?

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Jenn November 3, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Have fun! And yep, celery root is great roasted – it’s included in the ingredients in the recipe above :)

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Nikki November 3, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Haha, totally didn’t re-read the recipe, I was just thinking about the parsnips! Does the celery root actually have a potato-y texture like I have heard?

Jenn November 3, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Celery root mashes well like potato, but eating it, it’s more like a turnip in texture I think…

Nikki November 3, 2012 at 10:19 pm

That’s more what I expected… though again, turnip is another vegetable, which in the past I ate steamed, that I found unpalatably bitter!

Vegetable Geek December 31, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Roasting celeriac for the first time… we’ll see how it turns out! Just in case you didn’t know, celeriac is really good raw, especially paired with fennel! Not bitter at all.

I think carrots taste best when they are steamed (about 5 minutes). There was even a study about it; nearly everyone prefered their carrots steamed, even if they’d never prepared them like that before. (The study aimed to verify whether people prefer food when it’s in its most nutritious state.) If you leave the peel on, you might want to scrub then soak the carrots first to get rid of the bitter chemical taste (unless they’re organic). And small carrots taste better than thick ones. …Sorry if it sounds like I’m trying to convert you ^.^;; I think all vegetables are delicious when prepared right.

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