After traveling for a week, I came home to the scary realization that I had about a week and a half worth of root vegetables sitting in my crisper. I knew I had to do something with them…a mash? No, I can’t eat that much mash. A variety of root veggies chips? No, that was more frying than I cared to do. I settled on taking, literally, every single root vegetable from my fridge and slicing and dicing all of them into slightly different shapes and roasting them in homemade spicy maple syrup. To add some contrasting texture, I tossed he finished vegetables with black lentils would make for a killer, and super filling, warm salad.
Initially, I was going to buy some spicy syrup from the grocery store until I realized that the cost of this delicious spicy syrup had reached astronomical prices. I knew I had maple syrup in the fridge at home, so to cut costs, I picked up a few chilis and made my own. —Kylie Thompson
maple syrup (or honey which may need to be thinned with water)
fresh hot red chilis (to taste)
root vegetables (any variety of turnips, yams, golden beets, beets, potatoes, carrots, rutabagas, etc.)
Prep Your Ingredients: Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Cook the black lentils according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside. Cut the tops off the chilis and cut all the chilis in half. Set aside. While the lentils are cooking, begin peeling all the root vegetables. Cut the peeled root vegetables into rounds, half moons, and/or quarters of similar thickness. Quarter the onion.
Pour the maple syrup in a small saucepan and add the chili halves. Bring to a slight boil and reduce heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes until your syrup has absorbed the flavor of the chilis. Strain and discard the chilis.
Once the syrup is ready, add the root vegetables to a roasting pan in an even layer. Drizzle with a touch of olive oil and season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Pour enough syrup over the vegetables so that they are well-coated. Roast for 45-50 minutes, turning them halfway through cooking, until tender and golden. If you have extra spicy syrup left over, pour into an airtight container and refrigerate and use it later…on everything.
Plate it up: When the vegetables have finished roasting, divide the lentils between two bowls. Top with roasted veggies. Optional: Sprinkle fresh parsley leaves on top. (I garnished our bowls with a few baby kale leaves). Enjoy!