I hate to admit it but I am not a huge fan of vegetables. Oh, sure, they’re all right, but I would much rather fill up on starch and proteins. I know, I’m such a Midwesterner! In my defense, I have been trying to consume more vegetables in the past few months, but I still have a long way to go. There are notable exceptions to this though. Fresh, in season tomatoes, fennel, and asparagus are just a few I like and I have always loved many of the vegetables from the Brassica genus. This includes things like cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbages. It also includes many of the root vegetables that I like such as rutabagas and turnips.
Root vegetables have a pleasing sharpness that I enjoy, but they also have a wonderful, underlying sweetness. This sweetness can be developed and brought to the fore by roasting the vegetables, which is the way I prefer to cook them. In this recipe I accent that sweetness even further by glazing them with cider and a little bourbon, enrich them with a little butter and add an herbal note with fresh thyme which is still looking good, in the herb garden, despite the numerous frosts we’ve had.
Cider-Bourbon Glazed Root Vegetables
2 Tbsp. Butter, melted
2 pounds Root vegetables, peeled and cut into thick, medium length sticks (I use a mix of carrots, parsnips, rutabagas and turnips)
4 each Shallots, peeled & quartered
4 sprigs Thyme
3/4 cup Cider
2 Tbsp. Bourbon
Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the root vegetables with butter, to coat then place in a 9×13 baking dish. Pour cider over the vegetables and add the shallots and thyme. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, add the bourbon and roast for 25-35 minutes more, stirring every 7-8 minutes. The vegetables are done when they are tender, starting to brown and the liquid as mostly evaporated, glazing the vegetables. Season again with salt and pepper, if needed and sprinkle with the minced parsley. Serves 6 as a side dish.