I have this new love affair. Shh. Don’t tell. There’s this one spice called smoked paprika. It only took me two years to find the darn stuff. I have recipes bookmarked just so I can cook with this incredible spice. I’m super excited. Can you tell? The Whole Foods across from my apartment never has spices like this. In fact, they can never keep spices stocked well enough. Sigh. Instead I ventured to another Whole Foods, and it appeared before me in a black and red tin canister. Spanish smoked paprika. Score! It’s a pimenton and bittersweet kind. It’s amazing. This magical spice can elevate an ordinary, simple dish like these pan-roasted root veggies. Did I mention I have also have a thing for poppy seeds? They add texture, almost like a seeded crust to these carrots and parsnips. You could even call these root-vegetable fries. Because in reality, that’s what they really are. Fancy fries. We’ll call them fancy fries.
I used 3 small parsnips because the store didn’t have 2 good medium size parsnips. No biggie. We’ll roll with it. Just make sure to cut all of your veggies the same size. That way they cook evenly in the pan.
The original recipe calls for cardamom. I really wanted to add cardamom to these veggies, but I couldn’t stomach paying $11.99 for a spice that I would rarely use. So I skipped it. There’s always next time.
The veggies look like they barely fit the pan, but they will shrink and cook down. My cast iron skillet gets super hot compared to my normal non-stick pans. You may need to add more oil or butter if the veggies start to brown too quickly. It just depends on your pan.
The smoked paprika will turn the parsnips orange like carrots. It will be hard to distinguish between the two. Hope you don’t have any picky eaters…like my family. Yeah I ate a few before the camera got a hold of them. I couldn’t help myself. These fancy fries make a great mid-afternoon snack, paired with a hamburger, or even a happy hour small bite.
Pan-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips with Smoked Paprika
adapted from Molto Batali
My cast iron skillet gets super hot compared to my normal non-stick pans. You may need to add more oil or butter if the veggies start to brown too quickly. It just depends on your pan.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
2 medium parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley