February 17th

Roasted Roots

My new cooking obsession is making root vegetable fries and having them come out crispy. I’ve yet to master this. However, the practice has been fun. In this batch, I took four large sweet potatoes and two turnips. I coated them with a bit of olive oil, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne and roasted them at 350 for 45 minutes. Then I broiled them for 5. The only reason I took them out after five minutes was a couple may have caught on fire…

Little bit of smoke never ruined a fry — or an afternoon.

Also? My first time using the broiler I realized it’s like a boiling pot — best not to walk too far away.

The end of winter is the perfect time to enjoy these sweet root veggies. What’s your favorite seasonal dish of the moment?


Posted in
Domestic Art, Journal, Kitchen Talk
Follow the comments.

29 Responses

  1. Gosh, Kelli. Reading your blog always makes me so hungry 😉

    My favorite seasonal dish is also root veggies, but I roast them. I usually coat them in olive oil and add thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Yum!

    Off to have lunch…

  2. Anything sweet potato! Maybe I will makes some fries for lunch.

  3. We are big on roasting all veggies – just cut up, tss with olive oil, fresh ground pepper, and some sea salt. We do this with sweet potatoes (very yum), asparagus (although I prefer steamed or grilled), and mostly brussles sprouts. If you’ve not roasted BS with the above ingredients then you have never really tasted them – so delish (just cut the big fat ones in half to speed the cooking time, and shake half way through – takes about 30 mins).

  4. Hmmm those look so good! Love sweet potatoes in any way, shape or form!

  5. Root potato fries are a STANDARD in our house — the only kind we make! I do them at about 375 F for about 45 min, turning them often to coat with olive oil. I also add fresh rosemary from the garden, dash of cinnamon sugar, salt and cracked pepper … and at least a whole head of garlic. Have to cook ’em slower to get the garlic cooked (i.e. not burned). And I find the real trick to getting them crispy is not to have too many in the pan. Only one layer of potatoes with a bit of space between them so they can “breathe” and crisp up evenly. Often do two pans side by side instead of one pan with too many in the pan. And I line the pans with foil for easy clean up (lazy). My favorite thing to eat! Wow – quite the comment … can you tell that my morning coffee has kicked in?

  6. Can you believe, I’m still working my way through pumpkins bought well before Halloween?? I’m roasting about one a week and that lasts for a week of pancakes, whipped squash, what have you. The most popular item so far has been curried pumpkin soup with coconut milk. Recommend!

    I don’t know if you have Smart n Finals where you are, but they sell these bags of sweet brown onions. They are not regular brown onions. Roasted, they are no joke like candy. We’ll just stand in the kitchen, picking them off the cookie sheet.

  7. Sweet potato bites/fries are delicious! I made some last night with olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and some chipotle seasoning, and served them with a dipping sauce made of greek yogurt, garlic, lime juice and a little cilantro. SO yummy.

  8. Also, you may not want to hear this, but using more than a little oil will help get your taters crispier. Otherwise they’re just steaming themselves on the inside and drying on the outside – a good layer of oil attracts oven heat like nobody’s business to crisp them instead.

  9. Yum, those look delicious. According to Tyler Florence (my boyfriend), you should preheat your pan in oven. That way they won’t stick and you won’t have to add more oil. Plus they’ll be crispy on both sides. I’ve used this technique for making french “fries” and it works really well!

  10. I love anything sweet potato or pumpkin (and fried, for that matter!). These look so good. Aren’t sweet potato the best fries in the world!?

  11. DUDE! You set your place on fire AGAIN?!

  12. WOW – those look great and reading everyone else’s comment makes me SO hungry…and I already ate lunch – grrr!!! LOL!

  13. Oh yum! That looks very good. I love anything with sweet potatoes.

  14. Here’s a little trick that works for me to get crisper fries. After you chop up all of the veggies, soak them in a bowl of cold salt water for a little while. When you take them out (don’t rinse them), pat them dry with a towel and then bake them the way you normally do. I hope it gets you closer to your perfect oven fry!

  15. I roast at a higher temp–sometimes as high as 425 degrees. Make sure to flip ’em!

  16. I do small batches on my George Forman Grill. George is my best friend in the kitchen. I just slice, coat the veggies in a bit o’OO, and sprinkle with a little seasoning. About 5 minutes. The outsides are usually pretty crisp. yum!

  17. Yum! We’ve done potatoes, sweet potatoes, and rutabagas–wish I had some now. Maybe tomorrow…yours look so good!

  18. Okay, you make a butt load of vegetables so I figured you might be a great person to ask. My four year old hit that crazy picky phase about a year or so ago and since then I have an incredibly difficult time getting him to eat veggies. Any suggestions? He’ll eat cooked carrots if I put some brown sugar over them. He’ll eat broccoli if he can dip it in melted butter. But uh … sugar and butter? Not so great. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m dumping jars of Gerber baby vegetables into casseroles but I need him to *want* to eat them rather than my sneaking them into him. Ya know?

  19. I love sweet potatoes, brava! When I find them (I live in Italy) I cut them in wafer thin slices like chips and deep fry them along with regular unpeeled potatoes, blanched turnips and manioca (aka cassava or yuca). I simply toss them with salt & freshly ground black pepper and eat them with roast beef or fish. Ahhh I love my tubers…

  20. Mmmm…sweet potato fries are my favorite! I learned the same thing about broilers, they heat up….fast!

  21. It looks so yummy, Kelli. My favorite is baked yams. After baking, I cut them open and add a dollop of butter and a dash of cinnamon.

  22. My fave is beans and spinach, fry onions in olive oil, throw in kidney beans, blackpepper, curry powder, salt add a little beef stock and towards the end throw in a stack of whole spinach…I can eat this for days…

  23. Tina in Duluth February 18, 2009

    LOVE! I’m such a fan of roasted root veggies! I recently tried beets, and even the nonbeeteaters in the family liked them. We all love parsnips, too, but will pass on the rutabagas.

  24. I love to roast veggies as well, and your sweet potato fries look great! High temp, hot pan and a little EVOO should make them nice and crunchy. Right now I can;t seem to get enough butternut squash. I like it in a chicken chili with black beans, diced totmatoes, chopped mild green chiles. lots of chili powder, some cumin, cinnamon and next time I am going to add golden raisins to the mix.I love it – you just dump all ingredients into the rock pot and let it cook on low for 7 hours or so. You certainly could leave out the chciken thigh meat and make it vegetarian. Just add more butternut squash cubes and other veggies if yoiu like.

  25. I second the thought about keeping the veggies in a single layer – space between the pieces will allow them to form a “crust.” I make “oven fried” potatoes a lot, and I’ve found just a teaspoon of oil per potato is enough. It seems opinion on this varies in the comments, but in my experience too much oil just makes them oily and not crispy. And higher temp – 400 is what I do and my oven runs hot.

  26. I have been going through my roasted root vegetables for a time now… when I go to the farmers market there is such a wonderful selection ans variety I even roasted rutabagas and beets and purple potatoes and parsnips all tossed in with my russets…
    I peel and chop my root vegetable assortment and I toss with a little olive oil and a bit of coarse salt you can add any herbs like rosemary. I think the olive oil helps crunch them up a bit…

  27. Norwegian saying: burn food gives beautiful children…


  28. I have found when roasting root veggies that bring them just to a boil in a pot on the stove and then roasting them in the oven is easier and takes less time.

    However, the only way I have found to get crispy versions of those items is by using more oil than you probably want to use.

    Good luck!