Apr 18, 2013

From Top to Bottom: Roasted Parsnips with Caper Vinaigrette {I Heart Cooking Clubs}

Between last week and this week, the two I Heart Cooking Clubs themes span one end of a plant to the other.

Last week was leaves.
This week it's roots.

Leaves and stems are my favorite plant parts (to eat).  Even more than fruit.
Roots, while important to plants, have never held a lot of importance for me.

They always seem so grubby, desolate, wintery.  I picture dank empty cellars in grainy black and white, devoid of everything but a few shriveled, dirty turnips.  And maybe an even more shriveled old woman in a heavy cloak.

Clearly I have issues with root vegetables.
And melodrama.

Radishes, rutabaga, turnips, and beets are some of the few foods I don't eat.  (And you know I eat some weird stuff.)

Carrots and I have managed to get chummy over the years.

But sweet potatoes are always my first choice when it comes to root vegetables.

Even though the dish I picked this week is titled Roasted Parsnips with Caper Vinaigrette, I didn't find it was so much about the parsnips.

There's a lot more going on here.

like caper vinaigrette
and sweet potatoes
and roasted tomatoes
and roasted red onion

Honestly, I thought the parsnips got lost in this pan of a-little-bit-of-everything.
And I used more parsnips than instructed.

If you are like me, iffy about most root vegetables, and parsnips make you say, "eh, I don't think so" consider trying them here.  Or use carrots.  That'd be just fine.

Two negatives.
(1) I found it difficult to get the timing right--getting the sweet potatoes perfectly roasted without charring the onions and parsnips.  Next time, I'll use a tip I learned when making  Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Onions with Rosemary and Parmesan from epicurious.com.  Use separate pans.

(2) Ottolenghi notes that, "The addition of vinaigrette to freshly roasted vegetables gives them a freshness and juiciness they don't normally have; the acidity brings out new shades of flavour, too."  While I agree with all of these points, by the next day the leftover vegetables had marinated in the vinaigrette.  It was too strong leftover.

I would make this again.  It was a nice mixture of vegetables and the roasted tomatoes created bright, juicy pops throughout.  Next time I'd only dress the amount we'll eat that day with the vinaigrette.

The recipe for Roasted Parsnips w/ Caper Vinaigrette can be found HERE within Ottolenghi's The New Vegetarian article @ The Guardian.

I followed the recipe except for using 2 additional parsnips (I used the entire bag).  The toasted sesame seeds were added after the pictures were taken.  I forgot about them and didn't feel like lugging everything back outside for a photo shoot.  Truthfully, if you don't have sesame seeds, I wouldn't go out and buy them just for this.

More "Get Back to Your Roots" recipes can be found at I Heart Cooking Clubs
IHCC Ottolenghi Leek Badge resized

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  1. Our daughter LOVES parsnips so I will have to give this a try.

  2. Great! Now I need to find parsnips!

  3. I'm beginning to think that you and I were separated at birth - like you, spinach is my favourite leafy vegetable, and sweet potato is by far my favourite root vegetable.

    I love the sound of the caper vinaigrette in this dish (and I would actually make this dish for that alone), but that is a great tip about only dressing what you are going to eat on the day. Also a great tip about roasting the different vegetables in different pans.

    With parsnips becoming plentiful here right now, I'm definitely making this. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. I have this marked to make & yours looks gorgeous, I want to dive right in. I just love the combination of all the flavours...sweet & then tart always works for me & I like pretty much all the root vegetables. It is also perfect for Autumn, which is also good as that is where we are at here in NZ! Have a great weekend!

  5. ok YUM!! so delicious looking!

  6. Hi Michelle,
    You are so funny!
    This looks like a dish that I would really love, and sounds good with the caper vinaigrette!

  7. I've been meaning to make this for ages since I adore parsnips and sweet potatoes! So glad it gets your thumbs up!

  8. I love vegetables, especially roasted ones, and you got me curious with this parsnips. I don't think I've ever tasted it. I just have to try.
    These photos are making me really hungry (and it's after midnight here.....)

  9. That looks delicious. I love roasting my vegetables. Thanks so much for linking up with us at the Let's Get Social Sunday. Have a wonderful Sunday!

  10. Now that is a good looking platter of veggies! I'm a big fan of capers so this vinaigrette always calls to me when I'm paging through the book. It's been ages since I've had turnips and I can't remember how I feel about them. I do, however, love carrots so will have to add this recipe to my list of things to try (as well as your modifications and tips). Beautiful!

  11. Yum! This looks fabulous! Can't wait to give it a try :)

  12. I love how beautiful and colorful this dish is and of course you had me drooling at Caper Vinaigrette. ;-) I rarely use turnips and parsnips but this looks like a good way to mix them in!

  13. What a wonderful dish. I have used parsnips in soup for years but it is only a year or so ago that I started roasting them. You are right, this dish is so much more.

    Thanks for sharing.


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