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Roasted Vegetables with Lemon and Thyme

You may look at this recipe and think, “Radishes? Roasted? Really?” and you wouldn’t be alone. I was dubious too. The carrot and parsnip make perfect sense. We know, and love them, as roasted, deeply caramelized jewels alongside many winter dinners. But radishes? Aren’t they for spring crûdites plates or for salting and eating straight from garden? Apparently they are fit to be roasted and taken beyond salads. Who knew?

I have come across recipes many times for sautéed radishes, tossed in butter, but I had never considered roasting them. When the weather turns chilly (or downright cold, as it is right now) I want everything roasted. The oven warms the kitchen, and somehow I don’t mind giving more time to dinner in the winter, perhaps because the weather makes you want to hunker down and stay in. A recent re-discovery has affirmed my love of vegetables (almost any kind) roasted with lemon and thyme. Thyme has a soft lemony flavour and fragrance to it, so it goes beautifully with the aromatic zest and bright, sour juice. Less than an hour in the oven and everything has mellowed, sweetened and co-mingled making for a very savoury, nutritious side to any wintry dinner. In fact, I am not beyond having just these roasted vegetables for dinner. Delightful.

Roasted Vegetables with Lemon and Thyme

preheat the oven to 375° – serves 6 -pairs nicely with roasted chicken or pork

6 large carrots, trimmed, unpeeled and chopped into 1″ pieces

6 small parsnips, trimmed, unpeeled and chopped into 1″ pieces

24 large radishes, trimmed and halved

1 bulb of garlic, broken into cloves, skins removed

the zest and juice of 1 lemon

6 sprigs of fresh thyme,  (or 1 Tbsp dried thyme)

olive oil

seas salt and pepper

Combine the chopped vegetables in a large bowl. Add all but 2 of the garlic cloves. Grate the 2 remaining garlic cloves into the bowl. Grate the zest from the lemon into the bowl as well and follow with the juice. Strip the leaves from the thyme sprigs, discarding woody stem. Drizzle with olive oil (to your liking – usually a few tablespoons will do). Season with salt and pepper. Toss well. Spread the vegetables out on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the undersides become caramelized. Garnish with additional fresh thyme if desired.

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