Roasted Caramelized Root Vegetables

These roasted caramelized root vegetables showcase how onions, parsnips, rutabagas, celery root, and almost any root veggie you can find become tender and sweet when you have the proper cooking technique, temperature, and time.

Roasted Caramelized Root Vegetables

Sometimes it’s a relief to take a respite from veggie side dishes that are overcomplicated to put together or overwrought with additional ingredients. Sometimes it’s nice to simply revel in the innate goodness of the simplest incarnation of something. Like these roasted caramelized root vegetables, in which the mere act of cooking something at the proper time and temperature transforms them into something that’s supple, silken, and sweet as can be. Versatile as heck. And no extra fuss required. Not when you follow our simple yet perfect technique. Originally published October 9, 2003.Renee Schettler Rossi

Roasted Caramelized Root Vegetables

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 1 H, 25 M
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Ingredients

  • 20 pearl onions, peeled
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch (25 mm) pieces
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch (25 mm) pieces
  • 1 small celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch (25 mm) pieces
  • 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch (25 mm) pieces
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch (25 mm) pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (1/2 oz), cut into small chunks

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • 2. In a large bowl, toss the root vegetables together with the olive oil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
  • 3. Arrange the root vegetables in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and dot with butter.
  • 4. Roast for 30 minutes, stir, and continue roasting for another 25 to 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and golden.
  • 5. Serve immediately.

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Recipe Testers Reviews

Root vegetables usually don’t inspire a great deal of enthusiasm, but this dish is greater than the sum of its parts. The slow roasting and basting with olive oil and butter of the vegetables create a caramelized and creamy texture that’s pure comfort food. I love that each bite tastes slightly differently: one is more oniony, the next with a hint of celery root, and another with the spiciness of the rutabaga or sweetness of the carrot. Dice, roast, and enjoy!

Comments

  1. I tried this recipe in the spring when our variety of root vegetables (potato, carrot, onions) were ready to harvest. The flavors really developed a wonderful depth and I’ve never had left overs. This was so great I had multiple requests for it from the family that I bet we made it twice a week for at least a month. Tomorrow I’ll surprise everyone with the fall vegetable version!

      1. Hi Renee, I use whatever I have on hand or fresh out of the garden. This recipe is very versatile which is another reason I like it so much. I usually make sure to include some potato, carrot, and onion and the thyme is a must (and fresh thyme is the best). Everything else (i.e., mushrooms, celery root, sweet potato, squash, etc.) depends on what I have.

        I’ve probably made this about 20 times and it turns out great everytime. The cooking time does vary depending on the veggies used, but I do try to make the dice larger for more “watery” veggies (i.e., squash, mushrooms) and a smaller dice for the denser ones (i.e., starchy ones). Getting the carmelization pushes the flavors onto another level.

          1. Hi Renee, I forgot to mention that I have also thrown these on a baking sheet on the second oven shelf when I’m roasting a chicken at 375 degrees F and they turn out great. Just keep an eye on them since the time can be affected. I should also mention that I usually use vegetables from the garden and they tend to have a higher sugar content than what people buy in the store, so my experience may not translate directly to what they might have.

            1. I’m a big proponent of multitasking the oven as you do when roasting a hen, Laura in Texas. And thanks for clarifying, you’re of course so right, veggies straight from the garden are often like dirt candy compared to the sort found in stores. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and continuing our conversation on other recipes as well….

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