Miso-Maple Roasted Roots

February  3, 2014
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

A very basic, endlessly customizable miso sauce, tossed with root vegetables, roasted until golden. Use whatever root vegetables you have handy -- almost anything works. On the miso paste: yellow miso -- the medium of misos -- would be great here. But I've used darker -- red -- miso here and liked it. If you want a milder flavor, use white. (Taste the mixture before you dress the roots -- if you want more miso flavor, add another tablespoon.) —Nicholas Day

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds root vegetables, cut in roughly 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons miso paste (see above)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey, if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or just oil it).
  2. Whisk together the miso, maple syrup, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and oil. Toss the sauce with the cut-up root vegetables, coating them well. Transfer to the baking sheet and roast, turning periodically, for 30 to 40 minutes, or until they are soft (but not mushy) and caramelized. Eat as soon as possible.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lizzie Deroy
    Lizzie Deroy
  • Robert P. Battersby
    Robert P. Battersby
  • booglix
  • Paula Zevin
    Paula Zevin
  • AntoniaJames
I'm the author of a book on the science and history of infancy, Baby Meets World. My website is nicholasday.net; I tweet over at @nicksday. And if you need any good playdoh recipes, just ask.

37 Reviews

Deepa January 22, 2021
Made as written except my soy sauce was low sodium. Used a mixture of potatoes, carrots and parsnips. Salt level was fine, perhaps because I used low sodium and potatoes take quite a bit of salt. Will def make again.
Lizzie D. October 4, 2015
This recipe is great, and it will be one of my fall/winter staples. Thank you. For the record, I used 2 pounds of sweet potatoes and 2 shallots but halved all sauce ingredients, which—without further adjustment—gave me a nice salty-sweet balance.
Robert P. March 31, 2015
I had this last night and a few bits that were left over, tonight. I used white miso and it turned out great but the soy sauce made it a bit too salty for my taste. Next time, no soy sauce! This will be one of Bob's specials.
booglix February 3, 2015
I loved the idea of this, so I riffed on it last night with what I had. I was out of maple syrup and plain rice vinegar, but I had seasoned rice vinegar (which is a bit sweet), so I used that in place of the other two. I also added some Fire Cider, which is basically apple cider vinegar with kick.

I roasted a combination of golden beets, parsnips, kohlrabi, carrots, and potato on an unlined sheet pan, at 425. The sauce was delicious - we tossed the extra with some soba noodles - but the roasting did not go very well. The miso paste burned and turned black before the vegetables were fully cooked, which left us with hard, black root vegetables. I still like the idea of this, but next time I would try something different (roast at a lower temperature, use parchment paper, make a foil tent to create a little steam for the first half of the roasting time, roast normally and then toss with the sauce for the last 5 minutes in the oven, etc.).

I will say that by not using maple syrup or honey and using seasoned rice vinegar in place of plain, the sauce was delicious and not overly sweet. It was a bit salty, so next time I might cut back on the soy sauce. Also: think about how your vegetables cook. My parsnips were done, my potatoes were almost done, and the others were still pretty hard. I should have known to give the others a head start.
Lee September 13, 2014
Miso paste and soy sauce are both very high in sodium. I would like to see recipes that children enjoy, but don't get them hooked on the taste of an ingredient that in this quantiy is ultimtely bad for their health.
Avril September 8, 2014
Like the recipe but would prefer not so much preamble as frankly, it really is not necessary to "spill your soul" when all we want is the basics of a recipe.
Jessica December 27, 2014
This is so rude. Buy a cookbook, then.
typeforbreakfast October 25, 2017
SERIOUSLY what is wrong with you? What "preamble" here could you possibly object to? They were notes on the recipe — seems a pretty reasonable thing to include to me. Have you never read a food blog? If you don't want context, figure it out your damned self and don't read recipes in the first place. Ugh.
Jayne February 28, 2014
Miso is a fermented food and so it will keep for a long time either refrigerated or frozen long after the use-by-date. The miso available in my neck of the woods comes in a sealed plastic bag whereas in some areas the miso is packaged in a hardened plastic cup with a lid that keeps it moist. Incidentally, miso marinated on salmon is delicious. Use miso to make miso soup (just add water to miso) add tofu, excellent vegetarian fare.
Paula Z. February 20, 2014
After reading the comments on this tempting recipe (thank you, Antonia, for a well thought-out evaluation!) I decided to tweak it a bit by using twice or so the amount of vegetables, adding a good tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and a shot of Dijon mustard to the glaze. Even so, the dish came out cloyingly sweet, so I added more sprinkles of balsamic to wake it up a bit. I think that the next time it will be 2 teaspoons of maple syrup, double the quantity of vinegar and all of it balsamic, and I'm keeping the mustard in it. An alternate way of making this and not mucking up a baking sheet beyond salvage would be to roast the veggies solo with a touch of oil and toss them hot in the glaze, then let them cool down in it.
Plazma August 4, 2014
sounds revolting to what you did to it... why not try it one way before messing it up with your ideas that dont work?
Jessica December 27, 2014
Geez. Pretty rude.
drose January 11, 2015
AntoniaJames February 19, 2014
I made this last night. Here are some observations/suggestions: I found that there was far more sauce than was necessary for the 2 pounds of root vegetables. I only used 2/3 of it for 2 pounds of vegetables. (I weighed the vegetables before prepping.) I would not use parchment paper again. I found that the juices from my market fresh turnips, rutabaga and carrots pooled on the paper, causing the vegetables to steam. Some of the edges browned over time due to the heat, but I ended up with a gloppy coating over nearly all of the vegetables that did not end up on the very edges of the baking pan. I am fairly sure that this would not have happened, had the pan been bare. Cleaning a baking sheet after it's soaked for an hour so while eating dinner and doing the other cleanup would be a small price to pay for the better roasting results.
Also, I would use only half of the maple syrup called for here. With roasted vegetables that sweet, the syrup wasn't necessary. We couldn't taste the maple flavor, given the strength of the other ingredients. I squeezed the juice of two small limes over the vegetables, which helped. I suppose if making them super sweet works to get children to eat vegetables, I get it, but for our more adult tastes, the maple syrup, at least in that quantity relative to the vinegar, was out of balance, given the natural sweetness of roasted root vegetables. That said, I'm looking forward to buzzing up the leftovers with a touch of homemade stock, a glug or two of coconut milk, plus some extra lime juice, for lunch today. ;o)
cookinalong February 19, 2014
Great suggestions, as always! I guess the deciding factors and what vegetables you use and your palate! I made it last night with carrots and parsnips, the last of my pre-storm fresh vegetable stash. I didn't want as much sweetness because carrots and parsnips already have that in abundance, so I used 1 tbsp of pomegranate molasses, left out the soy sauce because I felt the miso gave it enough salt, and seasoned with aleppo pepper. It was an interesting combo, but I'm going to tinker with it some more. Something's missing. I'm thinking of substituting some butter for some of the oil next go 'round.
smacarol February 18, 2014
I want to use this on a non-root vegetable--broccoli to be precise. Any caveats?
AntoniaJames February 20, 2014
I tried this with Brussels sprouts and don't plan to do it again. The Brussels sprouts had cooked long before the miso sauce had time to thicken and become an actual glaze. Also, roasted Brusslies when left alone get that nice, flavorful, crispy bits when roasted plain. That didn't happen when tossed with the miso sauce. That said, the miso sauce is so tasty, you really will want to put it on everything, or at least in my case, things that are not themselves inherently sweet (like roasted carrots, turnips and rutabagas). ;o)
cookinalong February 17, 2014
What? No kale?
Plazma August 4, 2014
kale isnt a root vegetable
cookinalong August 4, 2014
Duh. Look up sarcasm.
Miles February 17, 2014
I've had no luck finding miso paste (in Northern Illinois) - any suggestions? We do have a Japanese grocer not near, but within range - what section/aisle should I be looking? Thanks!
Nicholas D. February 17, 2014
Hi Miles -- it'll be refrigerated. Good luck!
Miles February 17, 2014
Thanks! I've been looking in the wrong place!
Judith February 16, 2014
There are many types of miso. What type should I use? White? yellow? red?
Elysse February 16, 2014
Judith, if you read the author notes above the recipe he says: "On the miso paste: yellow miso -- the medium of misos -- would be great here. But I've used darker -- red -- miso here and liked it. If you want a milder flavor, use white. "
Coffeecat February 16, 2014
The difference in miso colors is both flavor and saltiness - the red is both strongest and saltiest, the white is least salty and least strong in flavor. I use the yellow (which is usually a medium tan, not a bright yellow in color) in most of my cooking. I like the flavor and with it not being quite as salty as the red, I can use more of it. It's a matter of preference and, in many areas, of availability too.
Coffeecat February 16, 2014
I love the recipe, but must confess it's just the vehicle for adding a long overdue word of thanks for Nicholas Day being on Food52. He's a wonderful writer and every column he adds brings inspiration that reaches far beyond the featured recipe. It's been many years since I was a parent of young children, but I never fail to find something meaningful and rewarding, not to mention tasty, in anything Nicholas Day writes. Thanks for this wonderful facet of an already wonderful blog. And yes, the miso roasted vegetables are great. I like replacing half the yellow miso with Ssamjang, the seasoned Korean miso - it adds a nice kick and subtle flavor
Nicholas D. February 16, 2014
Windischgirl February 16, 2014
I've kept my miso in the freezer for years. It softens quickly enough to scoop out a few spoonfuls but not thaw completely, so I can put it back in the freeze safely. Savory ice cream, anyone?

I think my vegetarian daughter would enjoy this; Elysse, I love the idea of chickpeas with my carrots and potatoes and maybe some red pepper chunks. Some greens on the side and we have dinner.

And yes, John Darnielle goes with everything.
Claudia February 15, 2014
Thanks for giving me a miso idea. It seems like I buy it, use a few teaspoons, then it sits forever in the back of the frig. Any idea on the shelf life of miso? I'll definitely give this recipe a try and report back:-)
jbban February 16, 2014
It will last for years in the fridge!
emcsull February 16, 2014
had some in the fridge and noticed it right past the "use by" date, tried it, and it tasted OK so I am making a conscious effort to use it up. am still here !
I_Fortuna February 16, 2014
My miso has lasted for years. It should be in a sealed airtight package. Once opened it will still last a very long time. It should be live miso not the pasturized that is usually sold. I use Hatcho miso the most. It is usually aged 3 years but mine is now aged about 8 years. LOL Hatcho miso is the darkest and supposed to be the most nourishing. I use it to make oat milk.
here is the recipe :

Sarah February 14, 2014
This looks amazing; definitely trying it. I think I might also try brushing the sauce on spaghetti squash halves before I roast them. Thank you!
Elysse February 12, 2014
This was good! I really enjoyed the sauce, but wish I had used a different combination of vegetables. I grabbed what was in my fridge: carrots, celeriac, yellow beets, rutabaga, and parsnips. The only veg that didn't really go with the sauce was the beets. I think this would be really fantastic with some onions, squash, and maybe even some chickpeas.
Nicholas D. February 16, 2014
I like this chickpea idea too.
Deirdre W. March 3, 2014
Sweet potatoes, too. I only had them and onions when I made this last night and they came out great.