You can’t have Christmas Dinner without some roasted veg. Parsnips are my most favourite seasonal vegetable at this time of year and they become so sweet and sticky when roasted, which I help along with a little maple syrup towards the end of the cooking time. To make the prep easy, I buy packs of baby carrots and parsnips and roast them together, whole. If you can find carrots with their tops on, leaving a centimetre or so of their green stalks looks really pretty and festive. I personally love brussel sprouts too but they are a crowd divider and having to boil them is a step too far when the stove top is already busy with other elements of the feast!
I keep the roasted vegetables really simple to prep as there is enough to do with the other elements of the meal on Christmas day itself and to be honest, they really don’t need much more than a slick of oil and a few simple seasonings to make them sing. Plus when you keep them this size, they will cook alongside the potatoes for the final 40 minutes of their cooking time.
- 6-8 baby parsnips
- 8-10 baby carrots
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Preheat oven to 220˚C if you don't already have the oven on for the roast potatoes.
- Place the veg on a nonstick roasting tray (again I use a small one about 30 by 20 cm sized which fits on the same shelf as the potatoes) and drizzle with oil, tossing well to coat them all over.
- Sprinkle with salt, pepper and most of the thyme (reserve a little to finish with).
- Roast for 20 minutes, then give the veg a little shake and turn if sticking a little.
- Return to the oven for 10 mins then remove and drizzle over the maple syrup - try to get it on the veg not the tray to minimise sticking but really, the sticky bits are the best!
- Cook for a final 10 minutes before serving, sprinkling with the reserved thyme. Et Voila! Easy peasy!
- I use baby veg but you can use fully grown carrots (about 150g) and parsnips (about 230-250g) which you slice into similar sized pieces - i.e. halve or quarter them lengthways then cut in half if very long.