Friday, November 16, 2012

Root Veggies and Sauces

I'm on the fence over the mandatory mashed potatoes for the feast. There will be traditionalists among us who will expect the standard fare right down to giblets and wiggling can-shaped blog of cranberry stuff that no one eats. There will be kids, not mine, who may only eat the mashed potatoes and turkey (not touching, of course). My kid won't eat mashed potatoes. I would prefer a roasted root vegetable medley. I only have so many burners and so much oven space.

Of course, the good news is we are smoking the turkey this year, leaving my oven free for roasting things like the apples to go under our Smoked Brussels sprouts, and a few sweet potatoes, parsnips and the like. You can also make mashed potatoes the day ahead and rewarm. No one said that have to be plain old mashed potatoes, either ... let's do both.

And, let's skip the canned cranberry sauce, too, with these easy, delicious make-ahead sauces.

Roasted Garlic, Parsnip and Potato Puree
With instructions for make ahead.

Caramelized Fennel and Root Vegetables with Lemon-Ginger Sauce
Really amazing dish with a lot of complexity and texture. This one is pictured at the top of the post.

Simple Roasted Root Vegetables
based on the recipe in our book for Golden Roast Potatoes
1/2 pounds new potatoes, skin on, scrubbed, and cut into {3/4}-inch cubes
1/2 lb. carrots, peeled and diced to {3/4}-inch cubes (or sweet potatoes)
1/2 lb. parsnips, peeled and diced to {3/4}-inch cubes
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1/2 tablespoon sage, chopped
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or chives (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Place the potatoes and garlic in your 9x13 roasting pan.
3. Steam the parsnips and carrots for 10 minutes, then add to roasting pan (so all the vegetables will cook evenly. Carrots and parsnips take longer to cook than new potatoes!)
3. Pour the oil over the vegetables and stir to coat them. Spread them evenly in roasting pan. Sprinkle with the rosemary and salt. Cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes.
4. After 20 minutes, remove the foil, stir, and continue to roast for 15 minutes longer, until the exterior of the potatoes looks brown and crispy and the insides are tender. Remove from the oven and garnish with the parsley, if desired.
Serves 6 to 8

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