oven roasted root vegetables with mild curry seasoning, hints of coconut, and a cayenne kick
When I was in college, the family I “mommy-helped” would often receive turnips through their CSA and pass them onto me because they didn’t know what to do with them. I wasn’t quite sure either since I didn’t grow up eating turnips and didn’t know much about them. Turnips and rutabagas seem kind of like the ghost vegetables. They exist but they’re invisible, quiet, and shy.
I finally found a perfect use for your lonely turnips and rutabagas! Make them into vegetable fries!
This incredible recipe was birthed a few hours before we had a guest over for dinner. I was exceedingly surprised at how well it came out, given that I made it up on the fly. I was making chicken curry for dinner (yes, a non-vegetarian meal), and I had bought a bunch of winter root vegetables to add some veggie to the meal. I decided to slice them into fries, toss them in mild curry spices, and bake them with sweet onion slices and coconut oil. The outcome was spectacular.
I have made these fries many times since, following the same recipe I developed on the fly. I haven’t changed it once!
The taste is matched with an appealing texture. Since the fries are baked, they do not get as crispy as they would if they were fried. However, the liberal seasoning that engulfs the fries generates a breaded crisp. The taste of the onion slices reminds me of the blooming onion appetizer at Outback (so if you’re missing this, you’ve got to make these).
Speaking of appetizers, these fries make a restaurant quality, archerfriendly appetizer that everyone will love.
Curry Root Fries
Makes about 12 servings or two full 3 qt glass baking dishes
- 1 onion
- 2 parsnips or 1 large parsnip
- 1 red garnet yam (or golden yam)
- 1 turnip
- 1 rutabaga
- 3 garlic cloves
- 4 Tablespoons warm coconut oil, more for greasing the bottom of the glass baking dishes
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- fresh cilantro
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (regular paprika is fine too)
- 1/2 teaspoon hot cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Grease two 3-quart glass baking dishes with a generous spoonful of coconut oil for each dish.
- Chop the parsnips, yam, turnip, and rutabaga into thin, long fries. Slice the onion into half circles. Mince the garlic.
- Toss the veggies together with the garlic and onion. Evenly distribute the vegetable mix on both dishes.
- Whisk together the warm coconut oil, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar (the coconut oil will blend better if its warm). Pour the liquid mixture on the fries.
- Distribute the spice mixture over the fries in each pan. It will look like there is too much seasoning, but this is what gives the fries a breaded texture. Use your hands to mix in the seasoning.
- Bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes. Toss the fries halfway through with a spatula.
- Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.
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