{Recipe: Zesty Root Vegetables with Pecorino}

As sad as it may be for some of you, I am actually quite happy that the holidays are over.  The pies, cakes, and other buttery, boozy treats virtually became a food group this past month.  It’s time for a break from the heaviness, at least for a brief time.

Root vegetables made an appearance at our dinner table as soon as the temperature dropped below 50 degrees.  I adore their natural sweetness and how easy they are to prepare.  To bring out their rich flavor, all that is needed is a little salt, pepper, and a coating of olive oil.

They don’t need anything else.  But they sure do taste good when you throw in a few more ingredients.

Adding a little pecorino cheese and lemon zest really elevates this dish, a light, seasonal recipe that is sure to satisfy meat-lovers and vegetarians alike.

Zesty Root Vegetables with Pecorino

(serves 6 as a side, 4 as an entree)


5 carrots

3 sweet potatoes

3 beets

3 parsnips

1 large red onion

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup pecorino cheese, shaved

parsley, chopped coarsely

zest of 1 lemon

salt and pepper, to taste.


Peel all of the root vegetables and cut into thick pieces.  Place them in a large mixing bowl and toss  with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Spread the vegetables out on a baking sheet (or multiple baking sheets if needed) and bake until they are tender, about 25-30 minutes.  Cook under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until crispy on top (keep your eye on this, because you don’t want them to burn).

Transfer a third of the vegetables to a serving bowl and top with some of the cheese, parsley, and lemon zest.  Repeat until all of the ingredients have been added to the serving bowl.

This can be served as is or with couscous if you want to make it an entree.

  • January 4, 2011 - 5:30 am

    Annapet - The Daily Palette - Happy New Year, Brian! This is winner and great for a healthy start. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 6:20 am

    Monet - I knew you would do something beautiful with those root vegetables. The simplicity here is stunning. I would love to sit down to a warm bowl of these wonderful vegetables. Such a winter gift! I'm also glad that the holidays are over. I'm ready for some rest. Thank you for sharing with me. I hope you have a happy Tuesday!ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 11:14 am

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen - I agree with you, I could use a break from all the heavy food as well. Something simple and easy like these roasted veggies sounds really great right about now!ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 12:29 pm

    SaraOneTribeGourmet - I totally agree with you, we need a break from the butter, the white flour & sugar, all of the things that Dr.Oz is always preaching are so bad for us. I guess everything in moderation is best!
    I love roasted vegetables and I love the additon of Pecorino cheese!
    Nice to meet you in our wonderful blogger's world! Happy New Year! :)ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 12:41 pm

    Angela Pritchett - These would be so good added to a veggie stock too. What a colorful dish!ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 12:50 pm

    The Small Boston Kitchen - Absolutely beautiful pictures! All those colors!ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 12:53 pm

    Winnie - I really love this. And I am with you: so happy holiday food is a thing of the past…bring on the healthy :)ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 1:01 pm

    Tiffany - Just beautiful!!!ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 1:11 pm

    Belinda @zomppa - Wonderful, rich colors…and love the zip and zing you bring to it!ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 1:40 pm

    RJ Flamingo - I love seeing the humble parsnip making a return as something other than an aromatic for soups! Lovely, Brian – as always. :-)ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 1:56 pm

    NP36 - Great stuff Brian … who knew "winter" could look so amazing!ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 2:02 pm

    kat - Yum, you took one of my favorite dishes & made it better.ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 2:36 pm

    Kudos Kitchen - Oooooh. I'm a root vegetable lover too. Your pictures are so vibrant and colorful. The perfect way to start the new year off in a healthy manner.ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 2:37 pm

    Amelia PS - wonderful and hearty (it's just a bonus that they are veggies and healthy!). What a bowl of comfort! Happy new year Brian :)ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 2:39 pm

    SMITH BITES - you know i am all over this one Brian – all about the veg – especially this time of year!!!ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 2:53 pm

    Cake Duchess - Gorgeous root veggies. Love pecorino. I always add to my pasta dishes:)Stunning photos!ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 3:01 pm

    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic - I love lemon zest and parmesan on roasted veggies, especially broccoli (and I usually roast it with garlic too). I also add a dash or red pepper flakes for more spice!ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 3:14 pm

    Elle - LOVE it! Absolutely gorgeous, too!ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 3:34 pm

    MyMansBelly - I'm a root vegetable junkie too! Gorgeous photos.ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 3:35 pm

    mywanderingspoon - Wonderful combination of vegetables..looks great:)ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 3:39 pm

    Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels - The root vegetables are just gorgeous. You always take such beautiful photos. I love the addition of pecorino to the root vegetables, what a great idea.ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 3:52 pm

    Lauren at KeepItSweet - i could revolve all of my meals around root veggies, this looks terrific!ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 4:39 pm

    Carolyn - So I saw this and thought it was already top 9. Maybe I have predictive powers and it will be. It definitely looks delicious! I'm not a fan of beets but I would eat around those and devour the rest of it.ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 4:55 pm

    Jamie - I love eating a plateful of roasted root vegetables and have been making a pan of them once a week! Just like yours! But that pecorino…. oooh I want it like that next time!

    Wishing you all the very best, darling Brian, in 2011!! Joy, Health, Prosperity and a trip to Europe! Or at least meet us in NOLA end of August?ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 4:56 pm

    Baker Street - Stunning pictures Brian! Veggies have never been so appealing. heh.ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 6:30 pm

    Megan - So simple, so perfect. It is nice to take a break from all the high-cal, fussy holiday foods and have time to appreciate a simple dish of root vegetables.ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 7:50 pm

    MeetaK - i hear you on the fact that the big fat holiday eating has come to an end! i absolutely adore root veggies and this bowl looks colorful and simply the perfect thing to dig into!ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 10:02 pm

    Anonymous - as you know, people's mouths start watering at a beautiful dish first and then they make it also. "slurrrp"ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 10:43 pm

    The Cilantropist - I adore root veggies, but beets hold a special place in my heart. <3 Love the first photo and all the color in the bowl!ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2011 - 11:00 pm

    Lisa @ Thrive Style - I'm happy about the end of the holiday gluttony too!

    Those root veggies look awesome! I could use some now, but since I'm not prepared, I'll just add the ingredients to my grocery list for later :)

    I just found your blog, and based on the photos and food content…I can't wait to see/read more!


  • January 5, 2011 - 1:10 am

    Evan Thomas - This recipe looks fantastic. I never thought to add zest to roasted vegetables, but I can imagine how they'd really perk up the flavor.ReplyCancel

  • January 5, 2011 - 1:27 am

    Claire Gallam - These photos are gorgeous. And I like that this recipe has root vegetables and no meat, a perfect and healthy option!!ReplyCancel

  • January 5, 2011 - 5:03 am

    Andrew Frishman - Mmn!. . . I LOVES me some rüt vegetables, espcially when they are zesty.

    ¡Arrancalos por debajo, hasta los raices!ReplyCancel

  • January 5, 2011 - 12:00 pm

    Lael Hazan @educatedpalate - Happy New Year! I love the various colors of the beautiful root vegetables! The edition of the Pecorino sheep's milk cheese truly enlivens. Thanks for a beautiful post.ReplyCancel

  • January 5, 2011 - 12:43 pm

    il sabotatore - This looks great!ReplyCancel

  • January 5, 2011 - 2:50 pm

    Joanne - I am so with you on this one. I want to infuse vegetables into my veins to try to erase all the butter I've ingested these past few weeks. Do you think that would work?

    These root veggies look delicious and i love how they are still simple yet a little special with the pecorino. Yum.ReplyCancel

  • January 5, 2011 - 5:52 pm

    darcyeats - This is exactly what I need right about now a hearty and wholesome break from the rich holiday feasts. Looks divine!ReplyCancel

  • January 5, 2011 - 6:50 pm

    Sarah @ Semi-Sweet - You are not alone in your happiness . . . I have noticed how great I'm feeling (and this despite a killer cold) this week after having kicked all that butter & sugar to the curb. This is a great root veg prep that I'm going to introduce into my repertoire – thanks!ReplyCancel

  • January 5, 2011 - 7:10 pm

    Sippity Sup - That's true beauty in a bowl. It's time to make me up some too. GREGReplyCancel

  • January 5, 2011 - 7:53 pm

    Joy - Beautiful photo Brian!!! I totally feel you on the holidays, I swear I looked in the mirror today and saw a third ass growing out of my pants. With the cruise + holidays I am a couple cakes away from fudgy the whale. Happy New Years to you, looking forward to all your lovely posts in 2011 :)ReplyCancel

  • January 5, 2011 - 8:32 pm

    We Are Not Martha - I absolutely love root vegetables: a) because they're delicious, b) because they're beautiful, and c) because they're so healthy! This dish is totally making me swoon :)


  • January 6, 2011 - 4:06 pm

    Jeanne - Could I be more in love with that first photo?? Nope, didn't think so. There are few things more simply satisfying that roasted root vegetables – it just seems to bring out the essence of their flavours. Just beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • January 6, 2011 - 5:28 pm

    naomi - I agree, a break from the heaviness and sweets- okay, I'm so lying on the sweet part, but the heaviness, yes. Although this healthy and hearty soup will be a great balance to my sweet tooth.

    This soup looks beatiful and sounds great. I love the root vegetables and love the color pop from all of them.ReplyCancel

  • January 7, 2011 - 5:05 pm

    hannah - This looks GOOD. I love root vegetables and this recipe looks so promising. I think I am going to write it down right now and cook with a friend tomorrow.ReplyCancel

  • April 29, 2011 - 12:42 pm

    Jun Belen - Oh my! I’m so behind with all the blog news. Congratulations on being featured as Saveur’s Sites We Love. Well done! And once again, thank you for the note about the nomination. I’m so thrilled that Saveur has noticed Filipino food.ReplyCancel

  • June 14, 2011 - 3:23 am

    eliza - I did this for a second time and accidentally put all my beets on the second sheet. IT WAS GORGEOUS. The beet juices left lovely stains on the sweet potatoes and parsnips that unified the colors of the dish and made the whole thing a fantastic collection of rosy pinks, deep reds and purples. I don’t know that I’ve ever made another dish as pretty as it was.ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2013 - 3:27 am

    Three Layer Parsnip Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting — The Culinary Life - […] Spicing up your root vegetables is easy with just Pecorino cheese and a touch of lemon juice. […]ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2013 - 5:05 am

    Jocelyne Desforges - will the beets turn everything red?ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2013 - 7:25 am

    John Melcher - I hate beets. They taste like dirt and make me vomit.ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2013 - 11:11 am

    Jocelyne Desforges - That sounds serious 😀 I love them, juiced with celery and apples and carrots. Never had them baked.ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2013 - 7:57 pm

    Catfish McDaris - Where’s the chicken…we need meat for the beetReplyCancel

  • May 28, 2013 - 2:59 am

    Jocelyne Desforges - I refuse to cook.ReplyCancel

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