My name is Mary.  I love cooking healthy food for family & friends, making specialty coffee, wine tasting, finding great beauty products, traveling, and organizing everything. I document it all here! xo

roasted heirloom carrots, parsnips + fennel

roasted heirloom carrots, parsnips + fennel

{vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, soy-free}

roasted vegetables carrot and fennel

Josh and I have been doing our best to eat locally and seasonally.  Sometimes in the depth of winter, variety can be limited, and we typically end up eating lots of root vegetables and squash.  When you feel your culinary creativity is lacking, and root vegetables seem a bit oppressive, just remember--you can fry 'em, braise 'em, roast 'em or cut 'em up raw and use them as vehicles for your favorite dips (hummus anyone?)! 

We always have a lot of root vegetables lying around as they have a longer shelf life, great versatility and make excellent soup starters. That's basically how this recipe materialized; we didn't feel like making a trip to the store and made do with what we had.

roasted root vegetables carrots and fennel

This dish is perfect in the winter--warm, bright and flavorful.  Carrots are typically in season from the end of September until mid-June.  Did you know that the orange carrot is a more modern version of the vegetable?  Original carrots found in the middle east were usually purple, white, red and even black, what we call the heirloom variety.  Parsnips are part of the carrot family, and always pair well, as their sweetness tends to round out the earthiness of the carrots.  Additionally, parsnips can be cooked just the same as carrots.  The fennel adds an interesting element, and the lemon zest and parsley brighten up the flavor of this simple recipe. This dish is a colorful sidekick to just about anything, and makes delicious leftovers tossed in a salad.

If you need a reference for what fruits, vegetables and herbs are in season, these produce calendars by Russel Van Kraayenburg are great.  We put them up on our walls as interactive artwork in the kitchen.

Total: 30-35 minutes | Prep: 5 min. | Cook: 25-30 min. | serves 6 as a side


baking sheet

non-stick liner or parchment paper

mixing bowl


cutting board

microplane or lemon zester



5 medium heirloom carrots (orange will suffice)

5 medium parsnips

2 fennel bulbs

4 tbsp olive oil

Sea salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp chopped parsley

Zest of one-half of a small (preferably) meyer or regular lemon



1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.  Chop carrots and parsnips diagonally in one-inch slices (if carrots and parsnips are thick at the base, cut the bottom third in half lengthwise; otherwise, leave them whole).

2. Slice fennel bulbs into half-inch thick wedges (keep the core in, it will hold each fennel wedge together.  Toss carrots, parsnips, and fennel into a bowl.  Add in sea salt and pepper to taste, and about 4 tbsp of olive oil to coat. 

3.  Spread the vegetables into a single layer on the sheet pan.  Make sure the veggies aren't too close, otherwise they will steam and not brown (use an extra sheet pan if need be). 

4.  Roast for 15 minutes and then stir the veggies around; bake for another 10-15 minutes or until brown and tender; remove them from the oven.  Zest half a [meyer] lemon or so over the roasted vegetables, garnish with parsley, toss and enjoy!

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