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Cozy Braised Roots

Cozy Braised Roots

I’m a one-trick pony when it comes to root vegetables: I’m a roaster. But a pile of caramelized, albeit kind of dry, roasted root chunks never quite seems like a reasonable main course, no matter how hard I try. That’s why I like this alternative: Braised root vegetables rich with red wine, mushrooms and thyme. It makes a very convincing entree–almost like a stew–especially when served with plenty of whole grain bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

1 1/2 cups red wine
1/4 ounce dried mushrooms, such as porcini
4 pounds assorted root vegetables, peeled (see Tip)
8 ounces white mushrooms, halved if large
2 large onions, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups mushroom broth (see Shopping Tip) or reduced-sodium vegetable broth
4 bay leaves

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place wine in a small saucepan and heat until steaming. Remove from the heat, add dried mushrooms and let stand while you prepare the vegetables.

2. If using carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces. If using parsnips, quarter lengthwise and remove the woody core, then cut into 3-inch pieces. Cut any round roots (beets, turnips, rutabaga and/or celeriac) into 1-inch-wide wedges. Place the roots, white mushrooms and onions in a large (12-by-15-inch) roasting pan.

3. Line a sieve with cheesecloth or a coffee filter and place over a measuring cup or small bowl. Strain the wine-mushroom mixture through the sieve, reserving the wine. Coarsely chop the mushrooms and whisk them into the wine along with thyme, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables; add broth and bay leaves. Cover the roasting pan with foil.

4. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and continuing baking, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes more. Discard bay leaves.

Tip: Beets, carrots and parsnips are easily peeled with a vegetable peeler, but for tougher-skinned roots like celeriac, rutabaga and turnips, removing the peel with a knife can be easier. Cut off one end of the root to create a flat surface to keep it steady on the cutting board. Follow the contour of the vegetable with your knife. If you use a vegetable peeler on the tougher roots, peel around each vegetable at least three times to ensure all the fibrous skin has been removed.

Shopping tip: Mushroom broth can be found in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets and in natural-foods stores.

Recipe Nutrition: 8 servings, about 1 1/3 cups each. Per serving: 151 calories; 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0g mono unsaturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 26 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 7 g fiber; 694 mg sodium; 870 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (190% daily value), Vitamin C (60% dv), Folate & Potassium (25% dv).

1 Carbohydrate Servings.

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 2 1/2 vegetable.


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8:13PM PDT on Aug 27, 2014

Root veggies are marvellous, especially on a cold winter day. These are also delicious for all seasons and I look forward to the root veggies growing in my garden being included as flavourful meals.

6:50PM PST on Jan 23, 2009

Sounds delicious,like a meat-free meal I could make and even get my husband to eat.The downfall will be all the rolls and butter I'm sure to scarf down with it.I'll be sure to make them whole grain, at least

4:03PM PST on Jan 19, 2009

I love roasted veggies too! I have a number of protein options, including: topping with grated cheese, hollandaise sauce, miso gravy; a dollop or two of plain yogurt or sour cream; eggs steamed in little wells right on top of the veggies. This recipe says grated asiago cheese or gouda to me. Mmmmmm.

1:58PM PST on Jan 19, 2009

I feed mine a meatloaf made with peas or spinach; carrots, cheddar cheese and oatmeal. They eat almost every veggie I fix except the onions.
You should see them when Brussels are steaming; they hope they would jump out of the pot for them alone.
But these root veggies sound great, I will have to make them.

12:52PM PST on Jan 19, 2009

Norma C,
It warms my heart to see there are still those who care a lot for their furry friends !!!

12:25PM PST on Jan 19, 2009

This is such a great meal. My dog also likes it but he cannot have onions so I omit the onions from cooking and add some chopped green ones up0n serving, jazzes up the color presentation and he does not know the difference and neither does any one else.

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