When it's cold, snowy and gray outside, it's the season for root vegetables. We can count on these not-so-fair-weather friends to usher us through the frigid months, gracing our tables and fortifying our diets with their sweet, nutrient-rich roots. These winter workhorses are storehouses of energy, flavor and natural sugar -- guaranteed to brighten up your plate and palate on a dreary, chilly day.
In this recipe, root vegetables replace the ever-popular russet potato, and while they are called "fries," they are oven-roasted, so you can feel virtuous while you scarf down a batch. Mix and match your favorite roots and spices to your taste. If you can get your hands on purple sweet potatoes, give them a try -- they have a slightly spiced and sweet earthy flavor, and remain firm while roasting.
As for peeling, I prefer to leave my organic root vegetables unpeeled and simply give them a good scrub because their skins are a wonderful source of nutrients and flavor. Roast one root vegetable or choose a variety for striking color. I prefer a combination of parsnips, carrots, celery root, rutabaga and sweet potato.
Roasted Root Vegetable Fries
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
2 pounds root vegetables, such as parsnips, carrots, celery root, rutabaga and sweet potato
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup Greek whole milk yogurt
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the root vegetables into 2-inch batons, about 1/3-inch thick. Place in a large bowl. Add the oil and generously season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat.
Spread the vegetables in one layer on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Roast on the lowest rack of the oven until golden brown on the bottoms, about 15 minutes. Move the baking sheet to the top rack of the oven and roast until the vegetables are tender and golden brown on top, about 15 more minutes. (If desired, turn on the broiler for the last few minutes of roasting.)
While the vegetables are roasting, whisk dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Serve the fries warm with the dipping sauce.
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