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Add some color to your plate with these Garlicky Roasted Carrots, Parsnips & Peppers

Each of the vegetables in this recipe has a natural sweetness that is complemented by a healthy dose of fresh garlic for a side dish that can be paired with any variety of main courses.

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Sarah's Garlicky Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Peppers are a simple and delicious way to "eat your colors" for a healthy eating regimen.
Sarah Nasello / The Forum
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FARGO — My husband loves to tell us to “eat your colors” to stay healthy, and roasted vegetables are a mainstay in our home during the fall and winter months. These Garlicky Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Peppers are a colorful and delicious, and an easy way to round out your healthy eating regimen with flavorful nutrition. Each of the vegetables in this recipe has a natural sweetness that is complemented by a healthy dose of fresh garlic for a side dish that can be paired with any variety of main courses.

Carrots and parsnips are root vegetables belonging to the Apiaceae family. While similar in shape and size, parsnips differ from carrots in both color and flavor, boasting a cream-colored skin and nutty, anise flavor. You will often find fresh parsnips coated in wax, which is added to preserve their moisture and extend their freshness and must be removed before peeling the vegetable.

Baby carrots are a staple in my refrigerator, and I cut them in half along the bias for this recipe. You could also use larger carrots and cut them into pieces about 1 ½ inches long and ½-inch wide. I cut the carrots first and use them as a guide when cutting the parsnips to ensure that they are of similar size, which helps to promote even roasting in the oven.

I made this dish recently for my husband Tony’s birthday, and since his favorite color is orange, I used an orange bell pepper, but any color of sweet pepper will work. I cut the bell pepper into thin strips about ¼-inch wide so that they will roast at the same speed as the carrots and parsnips. Two cloves of minced garlic and one thinly sliced red onion balance the sweetness of the vegetables with wonderful aromatics and spice, and a sprinkling of thyme and oregano complete the flavor profile.

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A sweet bell pepper is sliced into quarter-inch thin strips so that they cook evenly and almost melt into the larger pieces of carrots and parsnips.
Sarah Nasello / The Forum

Before roasting, I toss the carrots, parsnips, peppers and onions in just a tablespoon of olive oil until evenly coated, and then add the garlic, herbs and seasoning. Once combined, I place the mixture in a single layer on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet and roast them in a hot oven at 425 degrees until the carrots and parsnips are fork-tender and lightly caramelized.

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Root vegetables are perfect for roasting, as the process draws out and enhances their natural sweetness. For extra caramelization, I place the roasted vegetables under the broiler for a couple minutes, just until the edges turn dark and crispy. I love the additional flavor and texture that this final step adds to the dish, but you can skip this step if you prefer, and the dish will still taste great.

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The vegetables are tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, thyme and oregano before roasting.
Sarah Nasello / The Forum

This recipe can be easily doubled, and any leftovers will can be refrigerated for up to a week and served warm or cold. Add some color to your plate this winter with these easy and delicious Garlicky Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Peppers.

Garlicky Roasted Carrots, Parsnips & Peppers

Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 pound baby carrots, cut in half on the bias (about 1 ½ inches long and ½ wide if using larger carrots)
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into strips about 1 ½ inches long and ½-inch wide (similar in size to the carrots)
1 bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch strips
1 red onion, cut into ¼-inch round slices
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried)
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

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The vegetables are placed in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roasted in a 425-degree oven.
Sarah Nasello / The Forum

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the carrots, parsnips, peppers and onion in a medium bowl. Add the olive oil and toss until evenly coated. Add the garlic, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper and toss again until well combined.

Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake in the center of the oven until the carrots and parsnips are fork-tender, about 30 minutes.

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For additional caramelization: Once the vegetables are roasted, turn your oven to the broiler setting and place them on a higher rack to broil until the edges start to darken, about 2 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately. Leftovers can be refrigerated and served warm or cold.

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“Home with the Lost Italian” is a weekly column written by Sarah Nasello featuring recipes by her husband, Tony Nasello. The couple owned Sarello’s in Moorhead and lives in Fargo with their son, Giovanni. Readers can reach them at sarahnasello@gmail.com.
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