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.
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.
(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
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