Turnips and potatoes make good roasting buddies.
Pretty soon I’ll be making gratins, stews, soups and purees with them, but for right now, the new fall vegetables that I’m picking up at the farmer’s market will be just showered with sea salt, lots of cracked pepper, and a quick drizzle of olive oil.
These young vegetables aren’t the woody, starchy things with thick waxy peels that usually come to mind when we think root vegetables. They are so fresh at this stage that all you really need to do is give them a good rinse and they’re ready to go in the oven. Leave their root tails and a bit of their tops on; there’s no need to peel them.
On Saturday I picked up something I’d never seen before…Scarlet Turnips. They’re an heirloom variety of a ‘salad’ turnip. Salad turnips can be eaten raw like radishes in salads.
I also picked up some baby blue potatoes, new carrots, and baby beets. I intended to roast them all up together, but somehow the thought of the blue and the scarlet combination won me over. Sometimes simpler is better.
Even though the potatoes were small, I halved them to show off their incredible color. I tossed everything with the olive oil and spread them out on a baking sheet.
It only takes about 30 minutes at 375 for them to get tender inside and crispy brown outside.
I don’t think these interesting varieties have more flavor than regular turnips and potatoes, but it’s fun to play with the beautiful colors, and we’ve been hearing for a while now that strong color pigments signal extra health benefits in foods. Besides, getting more variety in our diets is always a good thing.
I roasted a chicken to keep these guys company on the plate 😉