For many years I relied on the same old honey-pecan-carrot recipe when it came to a festive root vegetable dish, but this holiday season I was on a quest to find a new side. Roasting vegetables is an easy way to bring out the flavours with minimal effort, and a really healthy cooking technique too. I still wanted to use carrots, but tried to use a few other veggies that are often forgotten about, and thus my Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel recipe was born.
I absolutely love roasting fennel, the process transforms this lowly root vegetable into a soft, fragrant addition to sauces, salads, curries and sides. High in fiber and B vitamins, fennel also has a lot of beneficial health properties, and is also a source of iron, calcium and magnesium. Good for the body when the winter blues hits, and after indulging in heavy holiday fare!
Roasting carrots brings out the sweetness and is balanced by the sweet licorice flavour of the fennel. Parsnips are one of those vegetables that I always fear will be bland, but in this case they add a bit of heartiness and are a compliment to the sweet carrots. The crunch from the fennel gives the dish some texture alongside the tender roasted carrots and parsnips.
Quick and easy, this dish can be prepped ahead of time and then popped into the oven when the turkey comes out. A healthy addition to a holiday menu, these root vegetables are given new life with the addition of fennel, and as a bonus the roasted fennel will fill your home with a delightful licorice aroma!
Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel
- 4 medium carrots peeled, trimmed, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
- 4 medium parsnips peeled, trimmed, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
- 2 medium fennel bulbs stalks discarded and bulbs cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 tablespoons dry white wine
- 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450°F, making sure the racks are in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
Divide vegetables evenly between two baking sheets. Toss carrots, parsnips and fennel using half the olive oil, wine, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper per sheet.
Evenly spread out the vegetables and cover pan with aluminum foil.
Roast vegetables for 10 minutes, then uncover, toss and rotate sheets.
Roast 10 minutes more. Toss and rotate sheets.
Roast until vegetables are tender and browned, about 10 minutes more.