Roasted Root Vegetable Medley

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Wolfgang PuckIn winter, while I was growing up in the Austrian village of St. Veit, green vegetables never appeared in my mother’s kitchen. Every vegetable we ate during the cold months came from our sand-filled root cellar, which maintained just the right temperature and humidity for the organically grown carrots, turnips, potatoes, celery root, potatoes, parsnips, rutabagas, and kohlrabi we’d harvested in the autumn from our little garden. With all those different roots and tubers to choose from, meals were never boring. My mother had so many ways to cook them: boiling, steaming, sautéing, braising, and my favorite, roasting. So you can imagine my surprise and disappointment after coming to America when I learned that, to most people here, roasted vegetables meant potatoes. Sure, golden-brown potatoes are delicious. But compared to what my mother cooked, they seemed a little boring. That’s why I hope you’ll try my recipe for a Roasted Root Vegetable Medley. It makes the perfect festive side dish for your Christmas or New Year’s dinner table. Click here for Wolfgang Puck's full introduction.

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Ingredients

  • 8-12 slender carrots
  • 8-12 baby turnips
  • 6-8 fingerling potatoes
  • 1-2 large parsnips
  • 1 or 2 medium onions
  • 1 or 2 large beets
  • 1 or 2 kohlrabi bulbs
  • 1 celery root (celeriac) bulb
  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 2 or 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, sage, or thyme
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley or chives, for garnish

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Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables, making sure that all pieces are roughly the same size or thickness for even cooking. Cut off and discard any green tops. Peel and trim the carrots. Peel the turnips. Scrub the potatoes under cold running water to remove surface dirt, but leave the peels on; cut the cleaned potatoes lengthwise in halves. Peel and trim the parsnips and cut them diagonally into 1-inch chunks. Trim, peel, and halves the onions, then cut each half into quarters. Peel the beets and kohlrabi and cut them into thick wedges. Trim the celery root, cut it in halves, and cut each half crosswise into slices 1 inch thick. Separate the head of garlic into individual cloves, leaving them unpeeled.

Put all the vegetables and the herb sprigs in a large baking dish. Drizzle generously with olive oil, season well with salt and black pepper, and toss them with your hands to coat them evenly.

Put the baking dish in the preheated oven and cook, stirring occasionally to ensure even roasting, until the vegetables are golden brown and tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a metal skewer or small, sharp knife, about 45 minutes. Present the vegetables in their baking dish or transfer them to a heated platter, garnishing with freshly chopped parsley or chives just before serving.

Yield: 10-12 servings

(Chef Wolfgang Puck’s TV series, “Wolfgang Puck’s Cooking Class,” airs Sundays on the Food Network. Also, his latest cookbook, “Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy,” is now available in bookstores. Write Wolfgang Puck in care of Tribune Media Services Inc., 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, N.Y. 14207.)

©2006 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

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