These roasted root vegetables with Marcona almonds are an easy, elegant side dish that juxtaposes tender root vegetables, crunchy Marcona almonds, nutty brown butter, and the lilt of lemon.
What are Marcona almonds?
Ah, Marcona almonds. Tourondel describes them as “shorter, rounder, sweeter, and more delicate” than regular almonds. We’re not about to argue. 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.
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
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 1 H, 15 M
- Serves 6
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 rimmed baking sheet, making sure the beets and the turnips stay together since they will roast longer. (You can set the vegetables aside at room temperature for up to several hours.)
Roast the vegetables until the various squashes and the parsnips are tender, about 30 minutes. Transfer them to a platter and cover with foil. Leave the beets and turnips in the pan or on the baking sheet and return them to the oven until tender, about 20 minutes more.
Place the Marcona almonds on another baking sheet and slide them in the oven until they turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Once they’re 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. Originally published November 16, 2010.
Roasted Root Vegetables Variations
- 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 sage leaves and immediately remove from the heat.
- In Advance Advice
Assemble everything on the baking sheet and set side at room temperature for up to several hours.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This roasted root vegetable recipe produced lovely, well-caramelized roasted root vegetables. The almond sage butter was a perfect dressing, and the hint of lemon livened it all up. In the future, I’d simply cut the beets and turnips a little smaller so all would cook at the same time.
There’s a great variety of colors and fall-type flavors in this roasted root vegetable recipe, making it a perfect accompaniment to your autumn dinner table. The sage-garlic brown butter was an exceptional flavor binder and enhancer. I did find the lemon highlights a bit too distracting, though, and would use considerably less of it next time—or omit it altogether. I’d never tried Marcona almonds before, and the sweet-ish marzipan notes were a fine addition to the butter. The wine recommendation was right on, too.
NOTES: I felt the shallots were a great addition, but far and few between. Next time, I’d use 6 uncut shallots instead of 2 cut into thirds. I also cut the vegetables into rather uniform thicknesses to be sure they all cooked evenly.