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.
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, which consists of an array of 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, and yet altogether incomparable alongside a weeknight roast chicken or a stunning holiday roast.
If ease overshadows elegance at your table and in your kitchen—hey, we’re not judging!—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
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
- 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 * above)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- Sage-Garlic Brown Butter (see below), warm
- Zest from 1/2 small lemon (optional)
- 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.
Roasted Root Vegetables VariationsSage-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.
My mouth is watering just remembering these vegetables and almonds. I love roasted shallots, and they paired so well with the sweetness of the vegetables. Plus, the sage and browned butter make everything better, the vinegar sauce brightens all of the flavors, and then you get the crunch of toasted almonds. The roasting time was spot-on, and the house smelled so good due to the caramelized squash and shallot aromas wafting through. I’m definitely adding this to the menu for the holidays.
Since we like squash more than beets and turnips, I might try leaving out the latter, which in turn eliminates a step and cuts down on the total cooking time.
These roasted root vegetables are a perfect accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner. The veggies were perfectly roasted, and I loved the crunch of the almonds. This is also a very versatile and forgiving dish: you can use all types of root vegetables and squash, depending on what’s available. I’ll be making this again.
The roasted root vegetables were a colorful side dish to serve with any meat. The only time-consuming task was cutting the root vegetables into dice. The oven did the rest. I used all 4 vegetables suggested and they produced a sweet, herbal-flavored vegetable dish. We liked the nuttiness of the sherry vinegar. The fresh herbs added a nice punch of flavor, too. Next time, I think I’ll add potatoes or beets.
Originally published December 23, 2020