Roasted vegetables are an old standby, but how about roasted fruit? The steady abundance of citrus in Southern California yards and CSA boxes has inspired countless new ways to use these fruits and our latest trick is adding orange and mandarin slices to roasted vegetables. The citrus adds a sweet, caramelized flavor and brings a bit of sunniness to winter roots like carrots and parsnips.
We especially like using organic mandarin oranges, which may be roasted and eaten peel and all if the rind is thin enough and the pith not too bitter. Larger varieties like navel oranges should be peeled first.
Orange Roasted Carrots & Parsnips
1 pound carrots
1/2 pound parsnips
1 fennel bulb
4-5 mandarin oranges or 1 large orange
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Peel the carrots and parsnips, or just scrub them well, and halve lengthwise. If the parsnips are large, quarter them lengthwise, cut out the woody center, and, if necessary, continue to cut into thinner strips to match the size of the carrots.
Cut the fennel into wedges.
Slice the oranges, keeping the peel on or off according to preference. If using a large orange, halve or quarter the slices.
Toss the carrots, parsnips, fennel, and oranges with the olive oil and maple syrup and season with salt and pepper. Spread out evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet.
Roast, turning occasionally, until tender and browned, between 20-30 minutes.
Remove from oven, season to taste, and serve.
(Images: Emily Ho)