Written by Shaina of Food for My Family.
If I look outside I’m greeted by a blanket of white. I’ve taken to wearing one of my husband’s sweatshirts around the house just to keep warm, and I’ve pulled out a pair of fingerless gloves to type in so that I retain a bit of feeling in my fingers as I tap on the keys.
I remember when I was younger. I would beg to put snow pants on over my jeans, hastily donning a hat that I didn’t bother to pull over my ears. I’d wear knit gloves that were soaked in minutes, and still, I’d continue packing the snow together, rolling it into balls and simply falling backwards into it, enjoying the split second of weightlessness that came with falling.
My teenage years brought with them a laziness when it came to covering up and staying warm. The cold didn’t cause me to run or screech, and I would spend hours during cross country ski practice wearing glorified long underwear skating around in the white fluff.
Photos by Shaina
Somewhere between then and now, I have become cold. Now winter makes me shiver and shake and head to the kitchen to make yet another cup of tea or coffee. I simmer soups in abundance and make roasts as often as possible, usually accompanied with a side of warm vegetables. The warmer and more comforting the better, in fact.
This side utilizes a few sweet potatoes and parsnips, roasted alongside a few winter leeks and a mix of maple and Dijon. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. It feels like comfort food even without loads of butter, cream or cheese, which just happens to make it an appropriate dish for a cold, January day in the dead of winter.
|Maple-Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Parsnips||
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
- 3-4 parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 leek, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (like Maille)
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 400º F. Place sliced sweet potatoes and parsnips in a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat. Arrange the slices alternating between sweet potatoes and parsnips in the bottom of a small baking dish.
- In a medium skillet, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. Saute leeks and garlic for 5 minutes. Pour in maple syrup and stir in the Dijon. Continue cooking for 2 additional minutes until syrup starts to simmer. Pour syrup and leeks over the sweet potatoes and parsnips evenly. Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to stand 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve warm.
Do you have a favorite way to prepare winter root vegetables?