The fall season brings so many root vegetables from the farm to our table, that I relish in selecting which ones to combine and simply roasting them. Their flesh becomes tender and they exude a very sweet, subtle, roasted scent. Oh! The house smells so good while they cook! A delicious welcome when guests arrive. Here, I prepared them with caramelized onions and my inherited Provençal tradition of enhancing dishes with garlic and oil cured black olives.
Very simple to prepare and easy to present with a bit of chopped fresh parsley. In this preparation, the most essential ingredient is: TIME! You just can’t skip a step or hasten the process. You need time to slowly let the onions cook down and caramelize, and time to soften the root vegetables without burning them.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
For the root vegetables
3 large carrots (or 6-8 smaller ones)
2-3 large parsnips
1 large rutabaga
1 large yam
4 dozens oil cured black olives
6 garlic cloves
2-3 Tbsps. olive oil
A few springs of parsley, chopped
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
For the caramelized onions
2-3 red onions
2 Tbps. olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground salt
Preheat oven to 375F.
Start with the caramelized onions. Cut the onions in half. Trim the tips (not the roots) and peel them. Slice them thinly from the tip to the root. Discard the root.
Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and stir to coat them with the olive oil. Reduce the heat to low-simmer and cook for about one hour until the onions caramelized, checking periodically (see below check points).
20 minute check. The onions have softened.
40 minute check. The onions started to shrink and scarcely caramelize.
60 minute check. The onions have shrunken further and caramelized more.
When the onions are caramelized, pour the balsamic vinegar at once to deglaze the pan. Season with a bit of sea salt. Set aside.
Meanwhile, peel and cut the carrots and parsnips evenly.
Toss in a bowl with1 Tbsp. of olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread in a baking dish and place in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Peel and cut the rutabaga and yam evenly. Place in a bowl. Peel and cut the garlic in half. Remove the center of the garlic. Add to the bowl with the yam and rutabaga. Add the black olives and toss with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, sea salt and pepper.
Add to the other root vegetables in the oven and continue baking for about 30-35 minutes. Check and toss the vegetables, then keep baking for another 15 minutes.
When the root vegetables are finished cooking, transfer the caramelized onions into the baking dish and toss to mix.
Serve immediately, topped with some chopped parsley. Enjoy!