Last Wednesday, I sat down at my computer and saw the date. January 31.
No joke, my first thought was – I have to start using the oven more!
Let me explain why this is a perfectly logical thing to exclaim in your head when one lives in California’s Central Valley and sees that it is the end of January.
Basically, we are in spring right now. It’s pretty amazing. And it will only last a few more weeks. Soon we’ll blink and 100 F will be back. Once it does, we pretty much have to kiss the oven good-bye until October.
I’m not complaining, but I am preparing myself and trying to remember to take advantage of these cooler temps.
More foods that require baking must ensue.
First up, root veggies. Not just any root veggies, but some that are more out of the ordinary for me. I love fennel and parsnips and I have no idea why I rarely grab them when shopping. I always seem to get distracted by the broccoli and cauliflower. But not this time.
Even better, this time I decided to combine them. Both are delicious roasted. They need little more than olive oil, salt, and pepper. The fennel bulb has that light anise flavor that calms and blends into the sweetness of the parsnips when roasted in the oven.
It’s so simple, too. A little chopping and about 30 minutes in the oven and you are all set. I add some walnuts because I like the crunch and a sprinkle of chives brightens the white veggies up just a bit.
Honestly, this kind of stuff is like candy to me. If I don’t have anyone else to serve there is a good chance I’ll just stand at the stove and eat it right off the sheet pan!
Roasted Fennel and Parsnips with Walnuts and Chives
Makes 2 to 3 servings
What you’ll need:
2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium fennel bulb, halved and sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped raw walnuts
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives
How to make it:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Spread the parsnips and fennel in a single layer on a rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat the vegetables. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Bake for a total of 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir the veggies about every 10 minutes during the baking time. About two minutes before the vegetables are done roasting, sprinkle the walnuts over them.
Remove the pan from the oven. Toss the veggies to redistribute the oil and seasonings. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with chives.