Root vegetables have a lot of natural sugars in them that caramelize when roasted at a high enough temperature.
They're also packed with vitamins and beta carotene. So, starchy they may be, but they are also good for you too. (As if I need any encouragement, you can't keep me away from them!)
The one thing about those sweet vegetables, so perfect for caramelizing, is that they love a little acidity to sharpen their flavor. Which is why you find orange-glazed carrots and balsamic roasted beets.
We've taken a similar approach with this melange of roasted root vegetables, by tossing them in a strongly acidic vinaigrette of apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and a little brown sugar, before roasting them.
The vinegar intensifies the taste of the vegetables, and brings balance to their natural sweetness. So good!
Other Great Vegetables for Roasting
Feel free to add or subtract vegetables in the recipe to your tastes.
- Whole cloves of garlic
- Celery root
- Fennel bulbs
Getting Good Caramelization on Your Root Vegetables
To get a good caramelization on your vegetables, the key is to roast at a high heat until the vegetables are tender, with a tiny bit of char on the edges. Be sure to cut the vegetables to similar sizes for even cooking. Check on them halfway through to rotate the pan, toss if needed, and to adjust your oven temperature as well. Every home oven is different, so you may need to adjust the temperature to get perfect roasting for your vegetables.
Prepping Root Vegetables in Advance
Making this for a dinner party or holiday meal? Prep the vegetables in advance, toss them with the oil and seasoning, and refrigerate up to 4 hours. Just wait until just before baking to toss in the apple cider vinegar, to avoid getting pickled vegetables.
Alternately, you can roast the vegetables a day or two in advance. Then, reheat them in a 350°F oven in a sheet pan until they are heated through, usually about 10 minutes.
How to Store and Reheat Roasted Vegetables
Roasted vegetables can be served hot, but they are great at room temperature. Up to you!
You can reheat the vegetables in a microwave, but you'll lose that nice crispness on the edges. They'll still taste good, but will be a bit more limp. Try a toaster oven or air fryer set at 350°F and heat until piping hot.
5 Recipes Starring Roasted Vegetables
- One-Pan Roasted Harissa Salmon with Vegetables
- Skillet Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables
- Roasted Butternut Squash, Radicchio and Onions
- Roasted Root Vegetables with Tomatoes and Kale
- Hearty Roasted Vegetables and Chicken Stew
Cider Vinaigrette Roasted Root Vegetables
If your root vegetables are competing with a roast for the oven for a holiday meal, just make them ahead, and put them in the oven to warm them up again while the roast rests before serving.
We are using parsnips, golden beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes for this recipe, but you could use any of your favorite root vegetables.
This recipe makes enough for 6 to 8 people and requires two roasting pans. You can easily cut the recipe in half.
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 medium golden beets, peeled and thickly sliced
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced lengthwise into 1- to 2-inch long sticks
3 medium garnet sweet potatoes, sliced lengthwise into 1- to 2-inch long sticks
4 medium parsnips, sliced lengthwise into 1- to 2-inch long pieces, any tough woody core removed
1 large red onion, thickly sliced
3/4 teaspoon thyme, dry or fresh
Preheat the oven:
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Toss the vegetables with vinegar, oil, and seasonings:
In a large bowl (with enough room for all the vegetables), mix together the cider vinegar, olive oil, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Add the vegetables—the beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and onion—to the bowl and toss to combine.
Spread the vegetables onto lined sheet pans:
Line two large roasting pans or sturdy rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil. Spread the root vegetables out over the pans in a single layer. with some space in between. Be sure the vegetables don't crowd each other too much, and the hot oven air can circulate around them (You'll get better browning that way.)
Pour the remaining vinaigrette over the root vegetables in the pans.
Roast the vegetables:
Place vegetables in the oven and roast at 450°F for 35 to 40 minutes, turning the pans (and swapping bottom and top rack positions), halfway through roasting. Cook until the vegetables are well browned and caramelized around the edges.
Sprinkle with thyme and serve:
Remove from the oven and gently loosen the root vegetables from the foil with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle with thyme. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 6 to 8|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 14g||18%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||10%|
|Total Carbohydrate 28g||10%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||17%|
|Total Sugars 13g|
|Vitamin C 18mg||88%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|