It is 80 degrees in February in Los Angeles and with the exception of a couple of weeks of temperatures hovering in the mid sixties, this has been the least wintery winter that I remember in a long time. Not that I am complaining too much (the fall cashmere sweater purchase was a bit of a waste, though.) But foodwise, we still have to wait for spring to get the best asparagus, strawberries and spring peas. So root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes of all kinds, rutabaga, turnips, whatever) are still a great seasonal choice. Peeling and chopping are the only ”tough” thing about this and you can attack this part the day before if you like. This recipe, adapted from Food52 is pretty light and pretty delicious and pretty pretty, too. Leftovers would be great atop some sort of grain (farro, bulgur, red or black rice come to mind) with a fried egg and some sriracha sauce.
2 pounds peeled root vegetables, cut in roughly 1/2-inch pieces 2 Tablespoons miso paste (see above) 2 Tablespoons maple syrup (or honey, if you prefer) 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar 1 Tablespoon soy sauce 2 Tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or just oil it) or do nothing…it will work either way.
Whisk together the miso, maple syrup, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and oil. Toss the sauce with the cut-up root vegetables, coating them well. Transfer to the baking sheet and roast, turning periodically, for 30 to 40 minutes, or until they are soft (but not mushy) and caramelized. Eat as soon as possible.