Roasted Parsnips with Caramelized Mandarin Oranges and Chimichurri

In this recipe, I’ve glammed up parsnips with chimichurri and caramelized mandarin oranges, perfect to serve as a bright, comforting side dish with your holiday meal. 

To me, the beautiful thing about winter is the abundance of root vegetables. In this recipe, I’m highlighting one of my favorite roots that’s often underused: parsnips. Parsnips share some characteristics with carrots, but are also related to the parsley family. The roots have been eaten since antiquity and were often used as a sweetener before cane sugar was introduced to Europe. Like any root vegetable, the flavor can vary based on how and where they’re grown, so if you find parsnips that roast up super sweet and tender with little work, you know you have good ones. In this recipe, I’ve glammed up parsnips with chimichurri and caramelized mandarin oranges, perfect to serve as a bright, comforting side dish with your holiday meal. 

Roasted Parsnips With Caramelized Mandarin Oranges and Chimichurri

Serves | 4 to 6 |

Parsnips

  • 1½ lbs parsnips, cleaned, peeled and halved
  • ¹⁄₃ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Mandarin Oranges

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 5 fresh mandarin oranges, peeled and sliced

Chimichurri

  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

| Preparation – Parsnips | Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large mixing bowl, toss parsnips with oil and honey and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a lipped baking sheet and roast until nicely charred and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Let parsnips rest for 5 minutes.

| Preparation – Mandarin Oranges | In a small sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add mandarin oranges and cook for 2 minutes; flip and cook for 2 minutes more until slightly caramelized on the outside. Set aside.

| Preparation – Chimichurri | In a medium mixing bowl, add all ingredients; stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

| To Serve | Toss roasted parsnips and caramelized mandarin oranges in bowl with chimichurri. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Amanda Elliott is the chef at Peachtree Catering in Columbia, Missouri, and authors the website rusticsupper.com, where she shares recipes centered on the idea of the communal table and embracing the heritage of food through travel.

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