Orange Roasted Root Vegetables

Orange Roasted Root Vegetables

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice from cut ends of oranges
1 pound carrots, washed and peeled, whole for small carrots, halved or quartered for larger ones
½ pound parsnips, washed and peeled, cut to similar size as carrots
1 fennel bulb, cut into wedges
3 to 4 Clementine mandarins or 1 large orange, cut into slices ¼-inch thick (leave peel on if desired)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme leaves
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped, to garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a small bowl, use a whisk to combine the olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice from the cut ends of the oranges, straining for any seeds, and add to the oil mixture. Taste and adjust flavors as desired.

Place the carrots, parsnips, fennel and orange slices in a large bowl. Add the oil mixture and fresh thyme and use your hands to gently toss the mixture until the vegetables and fruit are evenly coated.

Spread the vegetables and orange slices out on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer and drizzle with any remaining marinade.

Roast in a 425-degree oven for 25 to 40 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned. Oven temperatures vary, so start checking for tenderness after 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the vegetables and lightly toss to coat. Taste and add seasoning if needed; serve and enjoy.

Sarah’s Tips:

  • To ensure even roasting, keep the carrots and parsnips as close in size as possible.
  • If you don’t have parchment paper, lightly spray the baking sheet with cooking oil before adding the vegetables.
  • If preparing the vegetables several hours before roasting, keep the parsnips and carrots covered in water to prevent discoloration and preserve moisture.
  • The roasted vegetables may be also be served at room temperature and refrigerated for several days to use in salads and sandwiches.
  • Save the fennel fronds and stalks, and any other vegetable ends, to freeze and use later to flavor stocks and soups.