Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Roast Carrots and Parsnips with Herbs

Roast Carrots and Parsnips with herbs

The deep, sweet flavor of this dish will please even the veggie averse

Roasting concentrates the flavor of veggies, coaxing out their savor and natural sweetness. Which makes roast vegetables perfect for a festive dinner – such as, say, Thanksgiving.

These roast carrots and parsnips aren’t just something you’ll eat because “they’re good for you.” In fact, their flavor is so inviting, you may find them stealing the spotlight from your main dish.

Moral of the story? Make extra. Loads extra.



Roast Carrots and Parsnips with herbs

Recipe: Roast Carrots and Parsnips with Herbs

You can roast carrots or parsnips by themselves, but we like to combine them. Carrots are naturally sweet, of course. Parsnips are a bit sweet, too (and actually taste a little like carrots). But their texture and flavor also remind us somewhat of potatoes – so they complement carrots perfectly.

When you roast vegetables, they shrink a bit. That’s because the hot oven evaporates some of their moisture, in the process making them tender and caramelizing their sugars. This loss of volume also means that their flavor becomes more concentrated.

Because of this shrinkage, we estimate that you’ll need about half a pound of raw veggies for each (generous) serving. This recipe (which uses about 2 pounds of carrots and parsnips) will serve 4 (or 6 if your servings are small). But roast vegetables are so good that people usually want seconds, so you might want to scale up the recipe.

Prep time for this dish is about 10 minutes. Cooking time adds 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how large you cut the veggies.

Leftovers (not that you’ll have any) keep for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container.

Ingredients
  • ~1 pound carrots
  • ~1 pound parsnips
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (to taste; see Notes)
  • 2 to 4 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs (half that if using dried; we like to use a mix of fresh rosemary and thyme or sage, but see Notes)
  • ~1 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste; see Notes)
  • black pepper to taste (about half a dozen grinds for us)
  • ¼ cup water (optional but we recommend; see Notes)
  • ~2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish
Procedure
  1. Position a metal rack in the bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Scrub and peel the carrots and parsnips. Cut them into pieces 2 or 3 inches long, and then julienne them (cut into strips of ½ inch or a bit less). Or cut them into rounds if you prefer.
  3. Place the sliced veggies in a medium-sized bowl. Add the olive oil and toss until each piece is coated.
  4. Wash and dry the herbs, then mince them finely. Add them to the bowl, then toss with the carrots and parsnips.
  5. Add salt and pepper to the mix, then toss to coat the veggies. 
  6. Pour the carrot-and-parsnip mix onto a baking sheet (use one with a rim). Add ¼ cup of water (if using) to the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and set a timer for 25 minutes. 
  7. When the timer goes off, use a spatula to turn the carrots and parsnips over. Begin testing for doneness at this point. It usually takes 35 to 40 minutes for the vegetables to become tender, but that depends on how large you cut the pieces.
  8. Wash the parsley, then mince it. When the carrots and parsnips are done, pour them into a serving bowl and toss with the chopped parsley. Serve.
Roast Carrots and Parsnips with herbs

Notes
  • Oven temperature isn’t critical for this recipe. Vegetables roast well at any temperature between 350 to 425 degrees F. The higher the temperature, the more quickly they’ll cook, though – so you’ll need to check their progress more often.
  • Vegetables also tend to caramelize (i.e., blacken) a bit more at higher temperatures. We like the look (and taste) of well-caramelized veggies. But you may not, so be aware of that.
  • Because vegetables roast well at a range of temperatures, it’s easy to pop them into the oven along while the main course if you’re also roasting poultry or meat.
  • BTW, carrots usually take just a little longer to roast than parsnips. So you may want to cut the parsnips into slightly larger pieces.
  • We like to use extra-virgin olive oil for this dish because its flavor is wonderful. But you can substitute another oil if you prefer. Just use enough to coat each veggie piece thoroughly.
  • Why add the water to the baking sheet in Step 6? Because it helps steam the veggies while they roast, keeping them tender. This is a tip we read about years ago in the late, lamented Gourmet magazine.
  • We use kosher salt for cooking and baking. Kosher salt is less salty by volume than regular table salt (its crystals are large and more coarse, so they don’t fill a measuring spoon as tightly). If you’re using regular table salt, use about half as much as we suggest. But, as always, adjust the seasoning to your taste.
  • Feel free to experiment with different herbs when making this dish. We particularly like to use rosemary with thyme or sage. But any herb that sounds good to you probably will be.
Roast Carrots and Parsnips with herbs

Veggie Roast

“Roast vegetables are the best,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “These would be great for Thanksgiving.”

“As would Roast Sweet Potatoes,” I said. “Or Roast Cauliflower.”

“We do love to roast us some veggies,” said Mrs K R. “Another of my favorites is Roast Belgian Endive. Although it’s hard to go wrong with ordinary Roast Potatoes.”

“We’ve built up quite a roast roster, haven’t we?” I said. “We have also done Roast Asparagus, Roast Eggplant, Roast Cabbage, and even Roast Strawberry Salad. They’re all good.”

“And don’t forget Roast Brussels Sprouts,” said Mrs K R. “Though for Turkey Day, I still vote for these terrific roast carrots and parsnips. Shall we give them a place of honor at the table?”

“But of course,” I said. “How can I resist when you dangle a carrot in front of me?”

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

You may also enjoy reading about:
Roast Cauliflower
Roast Sweet Potatoes
Roast Potatoes
Roast Belgian Endive
Roast Asparagus
Roast Eggplant
Roast Cabbage
Roast Strawberry Salad
Roast Brussels Sprouts
Or check out the index for more

76 comments:

  1. The parsnip, children, I repeat,
    Is simply an anemic beet.
    Some people call the parsnip edible;
    Myself, I find this claim incredible. -- Ogden Nash

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    1. Hi Mae, perfect! I love Ogden Nash, and had forgotten this. Thanks for the reminder. And Happy Thanksgiving!

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  2. Simple is often the best - and carrots and parsnips are terrific together! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

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    1. Hi Tricia, we're pretty simple, so we're fond of it. :D Thanks for the comment, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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  3. John, I love, love roasted veggies and yours look wonderful. Roasting thinly sliced parsnips makes them crunchy and sweet, one of my all-time favorites. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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    1. Hi Gerlinde, roast veggies are terrific, aren't they? We can resist them! Thanks for the comment, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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  4. Always YES to roast veggies: Pumpkins, Eggplants, Carrots ...
    When roasted they look good, taste good, smell good; what else one can ask for?
    - Gorgeous, glamorous, inviting photos ... thank you for the awesome recipe <3

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    1. Hi Nusrat, roast veggies are wonderful! Love them! :-) Thanks for the comment, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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  5. Roasted vegetables are my favorite! I’ve roasted both of these veggies separately, but never together. This is such a perfect dish. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving, John 🙂

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    1. Hi Anu, we often roast these separately, too, but they're terrific together. Wonderful combo -- you'll like. Thanks for the comment, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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  6. Roasting definitely brings out the best flavour of the root veggies. This looks so delicious!

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    1. Hi Angie, don't you love the flavor of roast veggies? SO good! Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Love the simple roasted parsnips and carrots. I make something almost identical to yours with the addition of some chopped onions. Great side dish idea for the holiday season! Happy Thanksgiving John.

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    1. Hi Yi, onions would be a terrific addition! I'm trying that next time. :-) Thanks for the comment, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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  8. What a wonderful fall recipe! I also like to roast vegetables but the tip about adding water to the sheet pan is genius! Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Hi Deb, isn't that water trick neat? And it really does seem to make a difference. Small, but a difference. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  9. Oh how wonderful and colorful these roasted carrots and parsnips look! Great tip about the water especially for store bought veggies that are any days old before we pick them up from the store. Have a Happy ThanksGiving !

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    1. Hi Ansh, that water trick is particularly nice with veggies that are a bit old. Thanks for the comment, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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  10. I love carrots and parsnip together! This looks yum!

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    1. Hi Peachy, aren't the two of them a wonderful combo? Love their flavors! Thanks for the comment.

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  11. Roasting veggies is the best! They look and sound terrific.

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    1. Hi Pam, we love roasted veggies! Never met one we didn't like. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  12. Hi John, roasted veggies are my favorite, love this combo. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mrs. Riffs.

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    1. Hi Cheri, aren't roast veggies marvelous? We love 'em! Thanks for the comment, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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  13. I love roasted vegetables very much, John, but have not done parsnips for yonks. Thank you for the reminder. XX

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    1. Hi Liz, parsnips are one of those veggies I often forget about. And kick myself every time I use them -- they're so good! Thanks for the comment.

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  14. I love parsnips! I usually think "...or carrots" instead of "...with carrots," and now I find myself asking why!

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    1. Hi Jeff, they're a wonderful combo! Really go together nicely. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. Love roasted parsnips...I think they don't get used enough. This recipe looks terrific. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mrs.

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    1. Hi Pamela, parsnips are great, aren't they? Terrific flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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  16. I adore roasted vegetables. Parsnips are the bomb! I am not so much a cooked carrot fan, but parsnips, yes please!! And then of course, throw some sweet potatoes into the mix too ;)

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    1. Hi GiGi, roasted veggies in general are the bomb! And parsnips and sweet potatoes are awesome. Of course sweet potatoes and anything are awesome! Thanks for the comment.

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  17. This is a dynamite dish John, loaded full of flavour and who doesn't like a good roasted vegetable? Great picture, beautiful herb selection and as always, so well written thank you :D

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    1. Hi Merryn, roasted vegetables are SO good, aren't they? And wonderful with herbs! Thanks for the comment.

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  18. I saw this over on Google + and had to pin it for the holidays. I love parnips and people rarely ever cook with them. Delish! Have a terrific Thanksgiving!

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    1. Hi Kristi, parsnips are wonderful, aren't they? And we're also guilty of not using them enough! Thanks for the comment, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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  19. Two of my favorites! Can't go wrong with such simple delicious veggies. It may not be tzimmes, but it is just as good! I could eat these all the time! HAve a great Thanksgiving, John!

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    1. Hi Abbe, nothing is Tzimmes except Tzimmes. :-) Thanks for the comment, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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  20. We have been roasting all kinds of veggies lately but need to add some parsnips in the rotation. I love their sweet Yes I better double the recipe!!!

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    1. Hi Bobbi, with your boys, you might want to quadruple this. :D Thanks for the comment.

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  21. What a pretty combination. I love the wonderful layer of flavor that's added to just about any veggie when roasted at a high temp. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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    1. Hi Chris, doesn't this look nice? And of course its flavor is wonderful! Thanks for the comment, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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  22. It makes a wonderful Thanksgiving side. I hope your Thanksgiving has been super delish.

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    1. Hi Denise, it's a great side! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and hope you did too. Thanks for the comment.

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  23. Why do I always forget about roasting carrots??? They're so good that way! And throwing a few parsnips into the mix is perfect.

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    1. Hi Liz, roast carrots are wonderful! Particularly when you add some parsnips. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  24. I love them, I make them quite often, even today as a side dish to my baked salmon:)

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    1. Hi Natalia, roast veggies are so great, aren't they? Love the carrots/parsnip combo! Thanks for the comment.

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  25. Pinning immediately!! This is a very easy and foul proof side. I've had parsnips only once before, one of my friends made an oven fries out of it and it was delish. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

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    1. Hi Amira, parsnip oven fries sound like a wonderful idea! Thanks for the comment.

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  26. I always a dd a little water to the beets, now I'll try other roots as well. Happy Holidays. GREG

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    1. Hi Greg, that water trick is nifty, isn't it? Definitely worth doing. Thanks for the comment, and hope you're having a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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  27. I love roasted carrots, but I have never cooked parsnips. I really need to. I often make a meal out of roasted vegetable and a couple eggs. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

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    1. Hi Laura, roasted veggies and eggs make a wonderful breakfast. Or dinner. :-) Thanks for the comment, and hope your Thanksgiving has been terrific.

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  28. Looks yummy. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving day.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Hi Amalia, it's good stuff! :-) We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thanks for the comment.

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  29. I could try this. Thank you. :)

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    1. Hi Lux, you'd enjoy it! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. I think I need to roast more veggies. You are right that roasting is bringing out the natural flavors of the veggies, it's something I over look or maybe it's just so uncommon to roast veggies in my parts. Love your tips and yes I want to sprinkle a load of extra virgin olive oil asap! =D

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    1. Hi Helene, roast veggies are so wonderful, aren't they? Love their flavor! Thanks for the comment.

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  31. This sounds terrific. I always make more roasted vegetables than I think I need, and I always wish I'd made more!

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    1. Hi Beth, people do eat roasted veggies, don't they? Hard to make enough! Thanks for the comment.

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  32. This would be really nice with some good cut grilled steak

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    1. Hi Raymund, it would! Great combo. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  33. I had some of these for dinner last night but I used thyme! I will definitely try sage next time though.

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    1. Hi Caroline, thyme is wonderful with these! As, of course, is sage. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  34. Roasting veggies is the only way to go. I don't like them any other way! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

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    1. Hi Ashley, we did have a nice Thanksgiving, and hope you did too. And totally agree about roasting veggies! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  35. This is the simple way that you can bring all the nice sweetness of these roots out...I love how yours turned out so golden and perfect...thanks for the recipe John~
    Have a wonderful week ahead :)

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    1. Hi Juliana, simple and delish -- perfect, huh? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  36. I love roasted vegetables too. I have to say though I have never eaten parsnips. They do sound like they would be something I would enjoy. I know that the roasted carrots would be something that I would love. Great pictures!

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    1. Hi Dawn, parsnips are SO worth trying! Have a really interest flavor -- bet you'd like them. Thanks for the comment.

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  37. We love roasted vegetables especially during the colder months. They make the house smell so good, then you get to sit down and enjoy them. I've never roasted just carrots and parsnips but it does sound good. Such complementary flavors. Great recipes! Thanks!

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    1. Hi MJ, we can never get enough roast veggies at this time of the year! And you're right -- they do make the house smell wonderful! Thanks for the comment.

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  38. This sounds delicious, John, and perfect for this time of year. Love both roasted individually, so, only good can come when the 2 are combined. You're right, too, about making extra. Roasted veg just seem to disappear around here. Damn kitchen elves! :)

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    1. Hi John, those kitchen elves are SO annoying, aren't they? Predictable, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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