As side dishes go, maple roasted carrots and parsnips are definitely among my favourites. Dead quick and easy to prepare – you can even do them in advance and keep them in the fridge till an hour before you want to eat them, then just shove in a preheated oven. And super-yummy. The maple flavour is subtle, but brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetables. This is a warming, soothing and very moreish dish, perfect for a winter’s evening.
This is my uber-recipe for roasted root vegetables. I usually do carrots and parsnips, but occasionally other roots make it in – things like swede, baby turnips, little whole onions, and beetroot – and sturdy non-root vegetables such as butternut squash, too. It’s possible to make a delightfully colourful, and wonderfully delicious side-dish with almost no effort. My kind of cooking.
You can make the maple roasted carrots etc. using just oil and maple syrup, as outlined below, but you can also add all sorts of extra goodies to the mix to jazz things up a bit. For example – a few drops of tabasco, a spoon or two of cumin seeds, some grated fresh ginger, a sliced apple (with or without the peel), a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard… In The Cranks Bible (probably my favourite vegetarian cookbook) Nadine Abensur adds a sliced mango to a tray of roasted veg. Go mad and experiment, what’s the worst that could happen?
Kipper is particularly partial to these maple roasted carrots. And the parsnips. I think it’s the combination of a slightly sticky but mostly crispy exterior, and a soft, sweet, tender, tasty interior that does it 🙂
Serves 4 (ish)
- 400g carrots
- 400g parsnips
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5-2 tbsp maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Peel the carrots and parsnips.
- Cut the carrots into chunks, then depending on their thickness, halve or quarter them lengthways.
- Cut the parsnips in half. Leave the skinny bottom ends as they are, and cut the fat top ends in half or quarters lengthways. If they are very fat, you might also want to cut out the inner core, as it can be a bit woody in bigger parsnips.
- Mix the oil and maple syrup together. Toss the prepared vegetables in the maple-oil mixture till they are well coated.
- Spread the carrots and parsnips out on a baking tray, in as close to a single layer as possible. Roast at 180C for around 1 hour, until your maple roasted carrots and parsnips are browning at the edges, sticky and crispy without and soft and tender within.