it's like candy is very much ubiquitous with family reunion cookouts and the Best Man that, during a recent game night, a Taboo answer was Cameo and the clue was "It's like candaayyy!" and no one knew the name of the group (which is Cameo, BTW). terrible.

anywho, i've been flirting with roasted veggies lately (gotcha!) and i really realize just how sweet they can be. i've seen many a cooking show where the roasted veggies come out of a blazing hot oven all perfectly caramelized and glistening, but i just knew that if i ever attempted that, the fire marshals would be at my apartment door fast, mostly because i live in close proximity to four major fire stations, but i digress.

i recently bought some parsnips and there's not much you can do with it besides roast it or puree it, or roast it then puree it*. so, i gathered some culinary cousins, carrots and parsnips along with potatoes and sweet potatoes, gave them a rough chop into bite sized pieces, tossed them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and proceeded to roast them with some herbs and garlic. the result... sweet nirvana.

culinary cousins


2 carrots
2 parsnips
1 medium sweet potato
1 medium white potato
1 medium onion
1-2 cloves of garlic
2T olive oil
1T balsamic vinegar
½t thyme
1t rosemary
½t cumin
¼t cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste


1. peel and cut the veg into large bite sized pieces. you can be all fancy and cut then on a diagonal, but don't cut them too small; the smaller they are, the more they tend to burn. i cut the onions into wedges, keeping the root end attached so they don't separate. with the garlic cloves, depending on how garlicky you like them, you can leave them whole in their skin, to prevent burning, or just cut them in half.

2. in a bowl, toss the veggies with the oil, vinegar, herbs, and spices, then turn them out on a shallow baking sheet.

3. place the veggies in a preheated oven at 400°F oven.

4. after about 25 minutes or halfway through, give the veggies a turn/toss and place them back into the oven for the remaining time.

5. when the edges of the veggies are a deep caramel color, but not black, and they are tender, remove them from the oven.

serves: up to 4
the best thing about this recipe is that it's almost idiot proof. the veggies are the real star so the only crime would be to overcook them. you can change up the herbs an spices, throw on some grated Parmesan at the end. what would be nice is using soy sauce, ginger and cinnamon and throwing some cilantro in the end. or, if all you have is salt and pepper and a lemon, it would be just as yummy because of the natural sugars in the carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnips. enjoy!

*remix! if you make a lot and have leftovers, process them in a blender or chopper until roughly pureed. then, mix it with some veggie or chicken stock/broth until your desired thickness and reheat. voilĂ ! instant roasted veggie soup!
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