Roasted Root Vegetables with Whole Spice Seeds

Did you know the rutabaga is a cross between a turnip and a cabbage? And did you know it was first grown in Scandinavia sometime in the late Middle Ages? To this day, in England the rutabaga is known as swede. Just a few interesting tidbits to discuss while you peel, peel, peel and chop, chop, chop the root vegetables for this delicious fall recipe.

The rutabaga is not actually in this version of the recipe from Sallie Morris and Lesley Mackley in The Spice Ingredients Cookbook, page 186, but the authors suggest you can substitute either rutabaga or pumpkin for one of the other root vegetables they list.

When we make this recipe, we microwave the peeled and chopped vegetables rather than the initial boiling step. The vegetables should not completely cook, but should be softened. Microwave each vegetable in turn while you prepare the others.

Sometimes we also add ¼ to ½ tsp cayenne to the recipe for a some extra spice heat.

3 parsnips, peeled

3 potatoes, peeled

3 carrots, peeled

3 sweet potatoes, peeled

4 tbsp olive oil

8 shallots, peeled

2 garlic cloves, sliced

2 tsp white mustard seeds

2 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 bay leaves

salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Cut the parsnips, potatoes, carrots and sweet potatoes into chunks. Add them to the pan and bring the water back to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then drain the vegetables thoroughly.

2. Pour the olive oil into a large heavy roasting pan and place over a moderate heat. Add the vegetables, shallots and garlic. Fry, tossing the vegetables over the heat until they are pale golden at the edges.

3. Add the mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and bay leaves. Cook for 1 minute, then season with salt and pepper. Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are crisp and golden and cooked through.

Serves 4.

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