This dish comes together very quickly. It is satisfying for a weeknight dinner, and also impressive on a holiday table. The roasted veggies provide a depth of flavour, while the pomegranate and lemon lend a burst of freshness.
While parsnips are not everyone’s favourite vegetable, when grown and harvested properly they are deliciously earthy and sweet. Ron Tamis of Rondriso Farms has this down to an art, and his parsnips have been known to make converts of even the biggest skeptics. Harvesting parsnips after a good frost is the key, as the cold brings out their natural sugars.
Brussels sprouts, another often feared veggie, are making a resurgence on many restaurant menus. This is in recognition of the fact that their historically bad reputation is (like so many vegetables) owed more to poor preparation than the vegetable themselves. When roasted here, they become beautifully caramelized and their many layers soak up the subtle flavours of the thyme and olive oil.
If you live in Vancouver, look for Rondriso Farms at the Vancouver Winter Farmers’ Market, Saturdays at Nat Bailey Stadium; or visit the farm directly in Surrey. For all other locations, I am sure you can find your own “Ron” at your local market with parsnips and Brussels equally as lovely.
- ½ lb parsnips, cut in 1-inch chunks
- ½ lb Brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed, larger ones cut in half
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- ½ pomegranate, seeded*
- 1-2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 375° F
Toss parsnips and Brussels sprouts with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper in a casserole or pyrex dish. Place in the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes, until lightly caramelized and outer and some of the outer Brussels leaves are slightly crispy.
Remove veggies from oven and squeeze a bit of lemon juice over top. Toss to coat. Adjust seasoning if needed. Sprinkle with Parmesan and pomegranate seeds.
Can be served warm, or at room temperature as a hearty winter salad.
*Many love pomegranates, but are intimidated by the work involved to obtain their seeds. While there are multiple ways for extracting the seeds, my favourite is Jamie Oliver’s method: cut the fruit in half, and hold open face down into one hand over a large bowl. Holding a wooden spoon in the other hand, bash the back of each half and let the seeds fall into your hand. This is great for taking out aggressions and the seeds come out extremely easily. You may need to pick out some of the pith, but it’s generally minimal.