Roasted Parsnip Fries

These oven fries are delicious on their own with a little extra salt or you can add the lime-maple drizzle. If you have more than one pound of parsnips, use two large sheet pans instead of one. The parsnips will steam instead of roast if they are too crowded. One pound will just about fit on one large sheet pan and serve three people; use two pounds and two sheet pans to serve six. Parsnips come in unwieldy shapes so don’t worry about cutting perfect sticks; just aim to be as consistent as possible with thickness.

Don’t worry about cutting perfect sticks. — Susie Middleton

Serves 3 as a side dish

1 pound parsnips, trimmed, peeled, and cut into sticks 2 to 3 inches long and 3/8-inch/1-cm wide

2 generous tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice (optional)

2 teaspoons maple syrup (optional)

Sea salt or spiced salt for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large rimmed heavy-duty baking sheet with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, combine the parsnip sticks with the olive oil and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Toss well and spread in one layer on the baking sheet. Roast until the “fries” are nicely browned (flipping with a spatula once) about 20 to 25 minutes. (If the pan is crowded, they can take 30 to 35 minutes. Check frequently as browning goes fast at the end.) Let cool for a couple minutes on the sheet pans and then sprinkle with plenty of salt. If using, combine the lime juice and maple syrup, drizzle over the fries, and season with coarse salt. Eat right away.

Caramelized Turnips, Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes 
With Onions and Thyme

If you don’t have a cast iron pan, you can make this recipe in a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan. A nonstick interior is preferable but not necessary. You may need a little more oil, but the results are still very tasty.

With onions and thyme. — Susie Middleton

Serves 3 as a side dish

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more if needed

1/2 pound purple-topped turnips, trimmed but not peeled, cut into half-inch dice

1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into half-inch dice

1/2 pound sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut into half-inch dice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more if needed

5 to 6 thyme sprigs

1 medium onion (about 5 ounces), cut into medium dice

In a 10 or 11-inch cast iron skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, salt and herb sprigs and stir and toss well to combine and to coat with the oil. (The pan will look crowded.) Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring and flipping occasionally with a metal spatula, for about 20 minutes. (Listen to the pan — you should hear a gentle sizzle, not a loud one. If the vegetables are browning too quickly, reduce the heat a bit to maintain that gentle sizzle. If they seem dry, add a bit more olive oil.)

Add the diced onion and continue to cook, stirring and flipping with the spatula, until the vegetables are deeply browned and tender all the way through, about another 15 minutes. Remove the herb sprigs before serving. Taste and season with more salt if you like.

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