You may be thinking, “Roasted root vegetables? Big whoop. I already know how to roast root vegetables.” And we’re quite confident that you do. We’re also confident that you haven’t had roots and tubers done this way. That is to say, chef Laurent Tourondel’s stunningly elegant way, which consists of an array of stunningly vegetables in assorted hues and shapes that are roasted, doused with sage-infused brown butter, and strewn with Spanish Marcona almonds. We’re willing to wager it’s almost as easy as your way, yet altogether incomparable.
If ease trumps elegance at your table, simply chop all the vegetables into approximately 2-inch chunks rather than slice them precisely as in the recipe. Then roast all the vegetables for the same amount of time, no need to roast some types longer than others.–Renee Schettler Rossi
LC As Addictive as Crack Note
Ah, Marcona almonds. Tourondel describes them as “shorter, rounder, sweeter, and more delicate” than regular almonds. And that’s in their natural state. In their native Spain, Marcona almonds are typically served fried and salted, making them as addictive as crack—and almost as pricey.
We’ve been hooked since way back when they were $6.99 a pound, although some purveyors now charge up to $18.99 a pound. Of the many brands we’ve sampled stateside, by far the freshest and most ridiculously compelling is Mitica. If you simply can’t fathom paying that much for a nut, there’s an alternate approach that approximates, but does not replicate, the Marcona almond experience. Simply toss blanched almonds with just enough grapeseed oil or mild olive oil to coat and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast them as you would any nut, in a medium oven at 300° until barely golden. Immediately sprinkle the almonds with salt and transfer to a brown paper bag. Best make at least twice as many as you think you’ll need.
Wine Note: Serve this dish with a nutty Chardonnay that offers flavors of ripe apples, mango, and smoky oak, such as Chardonnay, “Connor Lee Vineyard,” Buty Winery, 2006, Columbia Valley, Washington.
Roasted Root Vegetables with Marcona Almonds Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 1 H, 15 M
- Serves 6
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 6 or 8 wedges
- 1 small acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 6 wedges
- 1 small celery root, peeled and cut into 6 wedges
- 1 small yam or sweet potato, peeled and cut into 6 wedges
- 1 large golded beet, peeled and cut into 6 wedges
- 1 turnip, peeled and cut into 6 wedges
- 1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into lengthwise into 6 wedges
- 2 medium shallots, peeled and cut into lengthwise into 3 pieces each
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup Marcona almonds (see LC Note above)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- Sage-Garlic Brown Buter (see below), warm
- Zest from 1/2 small lemon (optional)
- 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Toss the vegetables with the olive oil in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the vegetables in a roasting pan or on a large rimmed baking sheet, making sure the beets and the turnips stay together since they will roast longer.
- 2. Roast the vegetables until the various squashes and the parsnips are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove all the vegetables except the beets and the turnips from the roasting pan, transfer them to a platter, and cover with foil. Return the beets and turnips to the oven and roast for 20 minutes more.
- 3. Place the Marcona almonds on a baking sheet and toast until they turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Once they are cool enough to handle, roughly chop the almonds. Stir the almonds and sherry vinegar into the warm brown butter. Once the turnips and beets are completely roasted, add them to the platter of vegetables. Drizzle the vegetables with the brown butter and chopped nuts. Garnish with the reserved beet leaves and lemon zest. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Sage-Garlic Brown Butter
- Melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic and cook until the garlic is golden brown and the butter just begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in 6 thinly sliced fresh sage leaves and immediately remove from the heat.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:
- Marinated Root Vegetable Salad from Stephen Cooks
- Saffron and Honey Glazed Root Vegetables from eCurry
- Root Vegetable Stew with Cumin, Coriander, and Millet from Leite's Culinaria
- Mashed Potatoes and Root Vegetables from Leite's Culinaria
Roasted Root Vegetables with Marcona Almonds Recipe © 2010 Laurent Tourondel. Photo © 2010 Quentin Bacon. All rights reserved.