Monthly Archives: November 2013

Sweet Smokey Roots

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So the other day Melissa gifted me a bag of turnips from her CSA. Well, truthfully, somewhat embarrassingly, she gifted me a bag of turnips, eggplants tomatillos and peppers and I forgot it in her fridge for 3 days. Needless to say the turnips were to only thing to stay fresh. I was pretty bummed because eggplants are one of my most favorite vegetables and I was very much looking forward to making something with them. They are just SO delicate!
So, there I was with a bag of turnips, which I will admit is the first time I’ve had a bag of turnips in my possession as I have never used them before. It does seem a little strange.
It took me a few long moments to choose my battle. Roasted root vegetables seemed like an obvious choice. I will typically do some sort of an herb and olive oil blend when I do that but Melissa beat me to it and had just brought some like that into work to share. She is awesome like that and YES they were delicious. I didn’t dare to compete.
I decided to try something a little different. Sweet potato home-fries are a favorite breakfast treat in my house. I usually make them with some combination of garlic, paprika and celery salt. I took that basic concept and really kicked it up a notch.
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I gathered together all the root veggies I had on hand and also some onions, garlic and an acorn squash. I think it would be pretty easy to sub out any of these with alternate tubers or squashes without compromising scrumptiousness. Beets would be excellent in this!

4 cups of turnip cut in 1/2″ peices.
1 large carrot ( or 5 babies) cut into 1/2″ peices
2 small sweet potatoes ( or one biggie)cut into 1/2″ peices
1 golden acorn squash peeled, de-seeded and cut into 1/2″ peices.
1 yellow onion cut into 1/2″ peices
1 bulb of garlic
1/4 cup sweet smoked paprika
1/4 cup balsamic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp. alder wood smoked salt
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar

The turnips were a spectrum of sizes, when I peeled and cut them into approximately 1/2 pieces they equaled 4 cups worth. My roommates daughter got hands on during the last grocery run and we ended up with only “baby” carrots so I just grabbed a handful of them.One large carrot would do nicely. Mmmmm YES I did use an entire bulb of garlic! Just pull it apart and take of the skins. Crushing them slightly with the flat part of the knife blade can help. I peeled the acorn squash, cut it in half, scooped out the seeds and chopped it into 1/2 pieces.
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When the veggies were all cut up I put them in a very large bowl. You may need to break it up into two bowls because it makes a lot. I took the balsamic drizzled it on then sprinkled on smoked paprika, celery seed, and the alder wood smoked salt. Then I used my hands to massage it all and then did the same with the oil. I think doing the oil at the same time would prevent the balsamic from coating them evenly.
When they were all good and coated I spread them out evenly over two cookie sheets I had covered in tin foil. I don’t think the tinfoil is necessary, but it does make clean up a lot easier! I roasted them in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. You may need to adjust this time as ovens can vary. Just poke them occasionally with a fork to test how soft they have become. When some of the onion have begun to char a bit you are probably in good shape. After they were roasted I transferred them to a bowl and sprinkled them with the water to replenish any moisture lost in roasting. Then I sprinkled on the brown sugar, tossed it all all up. The result was deliciously addictive! I just ate them straight out of the bowl, but If I had the patience and ingredients on hand I think these would be outstanding in a wrap with goat cheese and some pea sprouts! Another fun idea might be to serve these in place of home fries with your eggs at breakfast.
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The light coming into my kitchen while I made this was absolutely magical.