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Winter Root Vegetable “Caponata”

January 12, 2012
Winter Root Vegetable

Seasonal Winter Root Vegetables: clockwise rutabaga, turnip, ruby heart radish and celeriac

These root vegetables looked so beautiful at the store that I had to find a way to use them. They were all grown locally here in Wisconsin on organic farms. For this dish, I decided only to use the celeriac and turnip because the ruby heart radish is so delicious raw and the rutabaga would be great in a stew that I will make some other time.

Winter Root Vegetable "Caponata"

Winter Root Vegetable "Caponata"

The key to this dish is the balsamic vinegar. It balances the roasted vegetables really well with its acid and sweet taste. I also add some sugar and minced capers for a little more sweet and salty flavor. The kids tried each of the vegetables and S said that the carrots were her favorite.

Winter Root Vegetable “Caponata” 

Adapted from the Balsamic Vinegar Cookbook by Meesha Halm

Serves 4 as a side dish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2 medium carrots, cut in ½ inch rounds

2 stalks celery, chopped in ½ inch pieces

1 large celeriac, peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes

1 large turnip, peeled and cut into ¼ inch x 1 inch sticks

1 medium onion,  chopped into ½ dice

2 Tb olive oil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper


1 tsp capers, minced

¼ cup olives, chopped

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

½  tsp dried oregano

2 Tb organic sugar

2 Tb balsamic vinegar

1 Tb olive oil

1 tsp minced celery leaves for garnish

Prepare the vegetables and put them in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper and stir to coat the vegetables. Spread the vegetables in one layer on a cookie sheet and roast them in a 400 degree oven. After 20 minutes, gently turn the vegetables over with a spatula. Roast another 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are just starting to turn light brown around the edges. Vegetables should be tender and cooked through. While the vegetables are roasting, put all the dressing ingredients  in a large bowl. Stir to combine. When the vegetables are done and still warm, add them to the dressing. Stir to coat the vegetables in the dressing. Garnish with minced celery leaves. Note: this dish could also be made sweeter with diced sweet potato, butternut squash or eggplant.

Cutting turnip

I cut these turnips into “matchsticks” so that they would look different from the cubes of celeriac, which is also white in color. After roasting, the turnips were the softest of the vegetables, so next time, I would cut the turnips a little thicker. Just cut all the vegetables so they get cooked at about the same time.

Root Veggies

Stir vegetables with olive oil

Combine the carrots, celery, celeriac, turnip and onion in a large bowl and add the 2 Tb olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir to coat the vegetables. Put on a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven. Here is what they looked like about 30 minutes later:

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted root vegetables

See the edges of the vegetables are starting to get some color? I don’t like any part of the vegetables to burn because of the bitter taste it imparts. Meanwhile, let’s make the dressing for the vegetables.

The key ingredient is balsamic vinegar

To make the dressing, in a bowl add the balsamic vinegar, minced capers, chopped olives (although I left them whole because my family doesn’t like olives except for me), sugar, salt, pepper, oregano and olive oil. Whew!

Caponata dressing using whole olives

You should pit and chop the olives, not have them whole like I have here. I kept them whole so my family could pick them out of the dish. Here you see I used several kinds of brined olives from the deli, but other olives will work too.  After the vegetables are roasted, mix them with this dressing/olive mixture. Spoon on a plate and garnish with minced celery leaves.


From → Recipes, Vegetables

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