Great chefs have the talent for turning simple, seasonal ingredients into spectacular dishes. This is one way I have learned from my chef-colleagues and Bay Café guests to turn humble root vegetables into an explosively delicious and vibrant dish. Reducing the honey to a caramelized glaze and using it as the sole cooking medium results in vegetables with a rich, creamy texture and an earthy flavor with a hint of sweetness.
- 1 cup honey
- 4 medium carrots, cut into ½-inch dice
- 3 small-medium parsnips, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
- 2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
- 2 small-medium rutabagas, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
- 1 medium or 2 small red onions, cut into 8 wedges
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or rosemary, chopped medium-fine (optional), plus large sprigs, for garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cook the honey in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until it is thick and dark with large bubbles, about 10 minutes. Stir in the carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, and onions and cook until the vegetables are deeply glazed, 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the vegetables are tender and well caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes. (Alternatively, continue cooking and tossing the vegetables on the stove top until they are tender and well glazed, about 25 minutes.)
3. Stir in the butter, lemon juice, and thyme, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (To make ahead, cool then refrigerate in a covered container for up to 2 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.)
4. Transfer to a warm platter and decorate with large sprigs of the thyme, if you wish.
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings and 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.