I nabbed and tweaked this recipe from the beautiful book Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. The pictures in his cookbook are literally dazzling. However, I discovered in the book’s reviews that another cook had confirmed my own Cardinal Rule – “ignore the directions, rather, be inspired.” For her, the recipes in Plenty simply didn’t “work.” So here is my own delicious rendition: the always reliable, caramelized musk of roasted roots with a tangy maple dressing, and a surprising sesame-caper twist!

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Roots O’Plenty


  • 5 medium to large carrots, quartered and cut into 2-inch sticks
  • 4 medium to large parsnips, quartered and cut into 2 in. sticks
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into coarse slices (don’t bother separating)
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 45 sprigs each rosemary & thyme
  • a light sprinkle of sea salt (always best to salt less at first, than more when you serve)
  • a light sprinkle of freshly ground pepper
  • 23 tablespoons olive oil, or enough to coat all the vegetables

For the Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons capers with juices
  • 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Prepare the vegetables and transfer to a bowl. Mix with olive oil, spices, and herbs. If using sprigs of herbs, some of the leaves will be knocked off the stem and mixed in – that’s great! Keep the stems in the mixture for now. I like to mix with my (clean) hands to make sure the veggies are nicely coated. Transfer to a baking sheet (no need to line with foil or grease).
  3. Roast in the oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until vegetables are golden but still crunchy! (Try one).
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing.


  1. Mix the liquid ingredients and spices in a bowl. Whisk vigorously with a fork or spatula and set aside.
  2. Toast the sesame seeds in a small, non-greased pan over medium heat. Be very attentive or they will burn. When they start popping, take them off.
  3. In a bowl, mix the roots with the dressing. Serve and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

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