Orange-Braised Carrots and Parsnips

by Food Hound on February 11, 2014

in Sides

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If you’ve seen my last two posts (Muffuletta and Unbeatable Brownies with Espresso Buttercream), you can imagine that lately I’ve had to live on a steady diet of dry salad and tears to make up for all the food debauchery.

Except we all know that’s not true!!  Instead, I bring you Orange-Braised Carrots and Parsnips.  That’s the kind of stuff we eat when we need to return to the fold.  I love my life!

It has been an embarrassingly long time since I have shared a new veggie dish on here, but I promise this makes up for it ten-fold.  When your repertoire consists of Bacon-Balsamic Brussels Sprouts, Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower, Spinach Salad with Maple-Mustard Dressing, and kale chips (I seriously make them every week, and I seriously need to share them with you), it’s hard to get motivated to find new veggie sides because those are all SO GOOD.

But we’re all about eating seasonally Chez Hound, and it’s about time I published something about one of my favorite winter veggies, the parsnip.  And to make things even better, braising parsnips.  It’s a seasonal vegetable you cook in a seasonal way.  The food gods are smiling.

While you don’t get that golden caramelization roasting in a hot oven and gobs of delicious olive oil gives you, you do get meltingly tender root vegetables perfumed with orange and shallot.  Parsnips everywhere are blushing that they were just described using the word ‘meltingly,’  usually reserved for other sensual foods like chocolate or ice cream.  But I kid you not- you get meltingly tender, fahhhhbulous vegetables, and who can’t use more of that in life?

Orange-Braised Carrots and Parsnips
From Barefoot Contessa's 'Foolproof' Cookbook
Serves: 4
  • 1 pound thin carrots (usually found with the greens attached)
  • 1 pound parsnips (try for thin, also, but get whatever is available)
  • ⅓ cup small-diced shallots (1 large)
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, divided (3 smallish oranges)
  • ⅓ cup good olive oil
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 T minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Trim, scrub, and peel the carrots and parsnips. If the parsnips are thick, slice them in half or quarters lengthwise so they are about the same width as the carrots.
  3. Place the carrots and parsnips in a pot or Dutch oven that’s large enough for the vegetables to lie flat (you may have to start a second layer if they all don't fit in one layer- that's ok). Pour ¾ cup of the orange juice and the olive oil over the veggies, then sprinkle evenly with the shallots, orange zest, red pepper flakes, 1½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Add thyme bundle.
  4. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover tightly with a lid or heavy-duty foil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 1½ hours, until the carrots and parsnips are very tender. Discard the thyme bundle. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of orange juice and the parsley and season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.


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