This basic approach is used all over Arlen for root vegetables generally, but especially for parsnips and turnips. Please note that the latter means, ideally, “baby” or young tender turnips (Brassica rapa: navets as the French call them), or at least older “true” turnips. The baby ones tend to be a very seasonal vegetable, available only in the late spring/early summer. (Swedes [Brassica napus, aka the rutabaga, all too often sold labeled as “turnip”] are likely to produce less-than-optimal results. If they’re all you can get at the moment, don’t bother).
- 1kg / 2-and-a-bit pounds of parsnips or young tender turnips, peeled and cut into 2″ pieces
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (or other strongly-flavored vegetable oil: pumpkinseed oil would work well)
- 1 tsp. dried oregano (though sage also works well. The preferred approach in most parts of Arlen would be to use sage, thyme or savory)
- Coarse (flaked/Maldon-style) or Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 425°.
Depending on your choice of vegetable:
- If using parsnips, peel, quarter, and cut into roughly 2-inch-long pieces.
- If using turnips: unless they are very young, after peeling and cutting, parboil for 5-7 minutes and drain. Then allow to steam dry, or dry them a bit with paper towels if you have to.
In a large bowl, toss with the oil, then add the suggested spices (though not the salt) and toss again.
Spread the vegetables across two large baking sheets, being sure to not overcrowd. Add a final drizzle of olive oil over the vegetables; sprinkle with the salt.
Roast until golden and easily pierced with a knife — about 30 minutes for parsnips: about 35-40 minutes for turnips — tossing once halfway through. Reduce the heat if they look like they’re going to scorch.
Serve as hot as possible!