Vivian Howard of Chef & the Farmer in Kinston, North Carolina, knows how to turn regular root vegetables into one addictive dish. Her secret? A sweet, tart, savory, multilayered rosemary, honey and vinegar sauce, which she drizzles over roasted turnips, carrots, celery root and parsnips that have been tossed with cubes of bacon and brown sugar.
To learn more, read "Roots in the South."
Bacon-Roasted Roots with Rosemary Honey
Recipe adapted from Vivian Howard, Chef & the Farmer, Kinston, North Carolina
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
For the Rosemary Honey:
½ cup honey
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 sprigs rosemary
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
For the Roasted Root Vegetables:
5 cups root vegetables (such as turnips, beets, rutabagas, carrots and celery root), diced into ½-inch cubes
1½ cups slab bacon, diced into ½-inch cubes
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1. Make the rosemary honey: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the honey, vinegar, soy sauce, rosemary and red pepper flakes to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has slightly thickened and reduced to about ½ cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and let cool before discarding the rosemary.
2. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a medium bowl, toss together the root vegetables, bacon, sugar and oil, then season with salt and pepper. Spread the seasoned roots and bacon out onto a sheet tray in one layer.
3. Roast, turning the vegetables and bacon halfway through cooking, until the vegetables are caramelized and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.
4. Spoon the bacon and roasted roots onto a platter and drizzle them with the some of the rosemary honey. Reserve the leftover honey for another use.