Roasted root vegetables makes such a satisfying side dish no matter what they are accompanying. With the right amount of seasoning and dressing they caramelize in the oven creating a crispy outer layer yet a soft and tender middle. Have you roasted parsnips before? They have become one of my favorite vegetables to eat in the winter. Yes, they are similar to carrots but have a nuttier earthy taste and are best to buy during the winter seasons. I love roasting them in the oven along with carrots such as this recipe, with sweet potatoes, or baking them separately until extra crispy as "baked parsnip fries" with sea salt and olive oil. So delicious!
This recipe is really simple, requires little prep work, and after pouring the tahini dressing over the warm veggies you are left with both sweet and savory elements. The dish pairs well with a roasted chicken or if you are keeping it vegetarian you can serve it with roasted pine nuts, toss in a few cranberries, and add it to a bed of greens.
I choose to make a tahini dressing because I wanted to balance out the sweetness of the root vegetables with a savory element. Tahini has become one of my new favorite ingredients to use in the kitchen and is made from ground sesame seeds. I have to admit, I was always reluctant to buy tahini because I never knew what to do with it, but after reading more and more recipes, I realized how versatile it is. Besides being tasty on its own, it can be used to make hummus, dips, salad dressings, or even desserts! Tahini reminds me of almond butter or peanut butter but has much more of an earthier flavor which is why I think it works so well with savory dishes.
The garlicky, savory, and saltiness of the homemade tahini dressing combined with the sweetness of the vegetables created the perfect harmony of flavors.
By the way, the dressing recipe below makes the PERFECT dairy free salad dressing for all those caesar salad lovers out there!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
For the veggies:
6 large whole carrots
6 large whole parsnips
1 whole head garlic, cut in half
2 tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
For the tahini dressing:
1/4 cup tahini
3 tbsp. warm water
juice of a lemon
1-2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tbsp. roasted garlic mustard
sea salt, garlic powder, & ground pepper to taste
Position 1 rack in the bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Wash the carrots and the parsnips. Dry completely. You can either peel the skin off of the root vegetables or leave them on. I prefer roasting with the skin on as it results in a more crispier texture.
Cut the carrots and the parsnips in half (lengthwise & somewhat uniform)
In a large bowl toss the vegetables with sea salt, ground pepper, paprika, and olive oil.
Spread evenly on the baking sheet with the halved garlic head. Drizzle olive oil on the garlic.
Roast in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes. Toss the veggies halfway through.
While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the tahini dressing.
In a medium size bowl add the tahini, warm water, lemon juice, and the roasted mustard garlic. Mix together. Next, add the sea salt, ground pepper, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast. Taste test and add more if needed. If you want the dressing to be on the thinner side, add more water. Dressing can be kept for up to two weeks in the fridge. [Next time you use it you might need to add more water to thin it out a bit- it will thicken in the fridge.]
Once the carrots and the parsnips are finished drizzle with the tahini dressing and parsley. Serve warm!