With Thanks: Roasted Root Vegetables With Browned Butter

Thursday, November 15, 2012

We are pleased to have Marge Perry back again as a guest blogger this week. Marge is the publisher and author of the blog, A Sweet and Savory Life and her food writing appears frequently in Cooking Light, Everyday with Rachael Ray, Self, and more. She writes the daily Ask the Expert column for MyRecipes.com and is a long time newspaper columnist. Visit her blog and learn more about Miss Margie.

Roasted Root Vegetables With Browned Butter

I was traveling in India on a trip of a lifetime with my Dad when Hurricane Sandy hit; I watched CNN from across the world as I trolled Facebook for word of friends and family.

Finally, the New York airports re-opened and I made my way back home. As we drove from the airport to my house, I was stunned by the landscape. It was eerily dark; trees formed barricades across streets and yards; wires swooped low to the ground and huge areas were draped with yellow police tape.

Over the next week, crews of public workers and technicians made their way through the streets, removing downed trees and re-attaching dangling wires. A few miles from me, a friend waded through gasoline-tainted water to try to save her restaurant. Offices were closed and people were stranded. There were no landline phones and gas for cars and generators was in short supply. Power was restored to homes bit by bit; I was lucky, but half a block from my house, a friend was without power for nine wearying days. And there are people who lost their homes, and with that, precious love letters and photos of their children as babies.

This year as we sit down to our Thanksgiving meal, I am profoundly grateful that I have lights and heat and the comfort of a soft bed; and for the good fortune of having my family all together.

I will serve turkey, of course, and stuffing. But the real star of the table is my bowl of nearly luminescent roasted root vegetables. They celebrate these last few weeks; these humble vegetables remind me that what truly nourishes us is simple and basic. But when I toss them in browned butter, it is as though I have turned on their magical internal lights and power: their flavors and colors and textures buzz with excitement.

Roasted Root Vegetables With Browned Butter
Serves:  12
Ingredients:
  • For the vegetables:
  • 1 1/2 pounds shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise (leave the root intact)
  • 1 1/2 pounds turnips, peeled and cut in 3/4-inch pieces
  • One 2.5 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds baby cut carrots
  • 1 1/4 pounds baby red potatoes (abut 2-inches in diameter), halved
  • 2 ounces Kerrygold Salted Butter, cut into bits
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • For the Browned Butter:
  • 4 ounces Kerrygold Salted Butter, cut into bits
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place three oven racks equal distance apart in the oven. Coat three shallow baking sheet pans with cooking spray.

2. Combine the shallots, turnips, butternut squash, parsnips, carrots and red potatoes in a large bowl.

2. Combine the 1/2 stick of butter with the  canola oil, salt and black pepper in a small saucepan or microwave-proof dish. Cook until the butter is nearly melted; stir until the mixture is smooth. Toss with the vegetables. Place the vegetables in a single layer in the three pans; place in the oven. Cook until the vegetables are lightly browned and tender, about 50 minutes, rotating the pans and tossing the vegetables every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a large bowl.

3. Towards the end of cooking, make the browned butter: place the butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter has a nutty aroma and is amber brown.

4. Just before serving, toss the vegetables with the browned butter.

Notes:

* Not a fan of turnips? Replace them with more carrots! The same is true of all the vegetables: personalize this recipe to suit your family’s taste. For best results, stay with tubers, winter squash, onion and root vegetables. Other vegetables to consider:
Sweet potato

Rutabaga

Yukon gold potato

Pearl onions

Any winter squash

Fingerling potato

Frozen pearl onions (thaw before using)

Red onions, cut in 1/2-inch wide wedges (leave the root intact)

Beets

Kohlrabi

Celery root

Whole garlic cloves

* Browned butter makes everything better: the lush nutty flavor is equally well suited to sautéed Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, or just about any other vegetable, and also on pasta, over pancakes or drizzled on roast potatoes.

 

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