13 March 2008

Roasted root veggies

{LEGUMES ROTI AU MIEL}The temptations to leave winter fruits & vegetable behind has become increasingly strong with the 1st day of Spring only a week away (officially March 20th). Plump bunches of asperagus have started appearing at the farmers market, as have strawberries and thin crispy green beans. The only problem is that while this produce looks lovely and is a refreshing change from the winter blues, it is NOT LOCAL = and if it is not local that means that planes, trains & aeroplanes were needed to transport it from point A (ie Marco, Spain, South Africa….) to point B Switzerland, England, France … and beyond.

FOOD FOR THOUGH : It seems harmless when you look at each isolated incident – “these beans look nice … oh, they come from Maroco…. well just this once”, add all these one offs together and you have created demand which requires supply. This also impacts the well being of our local farmers, who cannot compete with large corporations. Here are two informative links on what is now coined as ‘food miles’ http://www.localfooddirectory.ca/foodshed/?q=node/486  http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20021123/food.asp

The solution is simple, eat seasonally and buy locally. So as we are technically still in winter, I bought a variety of winter root vegetables …. carrots, potatoes (sweet  & normal), turnip, beetroot and parsnip, at the farmers market this past weekend to make sweet roasted root vegetables. The sweetness comes from the HONEY marinade which also give the veggies a glossy caramelised exterior –  delicious, wonderful with couscous, stewed meats, or a roast!


For 4 people :

  • 2 large carrots
  • 8 baby potatoes (or 1 large potato cut into 8 pieces)
  • 1 or 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 round purple top white globe turnip
  • 2 large parsnips
  • 1 large raw beetroot
  • 4 large whole garlic cloves
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) liquid honey
  • 2 generous tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • sea-salt for generous sprinkling once vegetables are cooked
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (395°F)
  2. Line a large baking dish with baking paper, making sure the sides are well covered and set aside.
  3. Peel all the vegetables. You can improvise on the cutting, but best to remember to cut them into large pieces to get the best results. Here is what I suggest:  carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips & turnip quartered. Baby potatoes whole, or 1 large potato cut into 8 pieces. Beetroot takes longer to cook so I cut it into smaller pieces (8 or more). Peel the garlic and place the whole cloves and the chopped vegetables into the lined baking dish.
  4. Next make the marinade. Combine the honey, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix well until blended. Then pour over the vegetables, moving them around to make sure that all sides are well coated.
  5. Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour, turning the vegetables now and again so that they cook evenly.
  6. Then increase the temperature to 240°C (460°F) and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Watch the veggies don’t get too crispy.

NOTE: the sweet potatoes will become quite soft in the centre which is normal.


  1. I am not much of a root vegetable fan, but I bet these are tasty! The marinade sounds great!

  2. Marjorie Says:

    I think it is great that you are urging people to “buy locally” and therefore support our farmers. The other side of the coin is that the imported veggies and fruits are usually much more expensive!
    I have only roasted parsnips, normal potatoes (oven fries) and sweet potatoes but the others you have suggested will be interesting to try and delicious as well, especially with the honey marinade (very inventive)! Love the combo of colors in the basket. M x

  3. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    GRETCHEN : I originally felt the same way about root vegetables, but cooked this way they take on a whole different taste, the honey seems to compliment and enhance their different flavours. Do let me know if you give it a try, and I tend to use whichever veggies I have on hand.

    MARJORIE: Thanks for you sweet note. I think you and D would really like this recipe with a nice roast. You can ajust the amount of honey used if you prefer the veggies more or less sweet. C u very soon xxx

  4. chocolateshavings Says:

    I agree! Anyway, I am still in a real wintery mood and love winter vegetables… plus roasting is always a great way to bring out flavors. That really looks wonderful Erika!

  5. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    CHOCOLATESHAVINGS 🙂 I feel the same way – it has not stopped raining in Geneva for weeks, and I am still into warm wintry dishes…. just made pumpkin sound with ginger cream which I will soon post. Hope you are well, am off to look and see what you have been up to in the kitchen!

  6. jennifer Says:

    I found your recipe while doing a google search, and it sounded great so I decided to try it- my husband and I LOVED it- thanks so much for posting- it was great!

    • Hi Jennifer,
      thanks for the positive feedback, it makes such a difference to hear how the recipes turned out 🙂
      This is the perfect time of year for roasted root vegetables!
      Please keep in touch

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