I recently chopped up one each of leek, turnip, rutabaga, cauliflower (small) and, because 'late winter' also means 'early spring,' about 8 asparagus spears. I threw the leeks and asparagus together as quicker-cooking vegetables on one small tray and the cauliflower/rutabaga/turnips as longer-cooking vegetables on another. I sprinkled on some salt and dabbed bacon fat over the top here and there (about one tablespoon total) and put them into a preheated 375° oven. The bacon fat was fairly solid from being in the refrigerator, so after five minutes I took out the trays and gave the veg a toss in the now melted fat in order to distribute it evenly. I then proceeded to roast until everything was tender and starting to brown up, with an occasional shake of the pan here and there.
Once out of the oven, I tossed the veg together and sprinkled them with fresh chopped thyme and black pepper and ate them, along with a nice wedge of cheese and some toasted bread, as a light supper.
While spring produce makes me happy, I'm always sad to see the winter roots go. I love a good root roast and adding just a little bacon fat to the mix was a wonderful send off to these dear old friends of the winter table.
Related: Tip: Save Your Bacon Fat
(Images: Dana Velden)