Cuisine Fiend

roast carrots and parsnips


Roasted carrots and parsnips

Roasted root vegetables – excellent with a roast, Christmas Day can’t be without them. I find the simpler the better they are – here the only secret is the addition of harissa which gives it a subtle kick. Whole garlic cloves are gorgeous roasted although a little messy to squeeze out on your plate.

The vegetables can be prepared ahead, which is always a bonus on Christmas Day, cut and mixed with the dressing they can sit in the fridge even overnight – but do bring them back to room temperature before roasting and heating up the tray will help further. I once cooked prepped in advance roast veg and roast spuds for Christmas lunch straight from the fridge – total disaster, they never wanted to cook, brown or crispen. Turkey almost went cold (turkey…).

The choice of veg is yours: carrots on their own will do well, but throw in parsnips, turnips, sweet potato, yams, fennel and even beetroot – although the latter try to throw crimson all over their immediate neighbours so beware, they also take longer than others so might want to begin the oven journey on their own, first off.

roast carrots and parsnips

Servings: 4Time: just over an hour


  • 6-8 carrots, washed and cut into thick batons
  • 2-3 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunkier pieces than the carrots
  • 1 bulb of garlic, unpeeled, separated into cloves
  • a few rosemary sprigs
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • juice from half a lemon
  • caraway seeds, dried marjoram, thyme and tarragon

Carrots, parsnips and garlic


1. Mix the olive oil, harissa, honey and lemon juice in a large bowl.

2. Add the vegetables and garlic, season generously with the herbs and leave for an hour to soak in the flavours.

Carrots and parsnips ready for roasting

3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6 and place a roasting tin large enough for all the vegetables in one layer in the oven for a few minutes. Transfer the vegetables into the hot tin, trying to place the parsnips in the middle and carrots on the outside as they will take longer to cook.

4. Roast for 40-50 minutes, turning them over once or twice.

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