Roasted Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes with Caper Vinaigrette

Here’s another great vegetarian dish from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty. I honestly didn’t realized that you could make a vegetable dish packed with so much flavor. The long roasting time gives the vegetables a wonderful caramelized flavor, and the cherry tomatoes and caper vinaigrette added at the end gives the dish a very satisfying salty and slightly sweet tangy taste. And not only is this dish very tasty, it’s very colorful and beautiful and loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals. What more could you ask for in a vegetarian dish.

Adapted from Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi 

Makes 4 servings




  • 4 parsnips (1-1/2 pounds total)
  • 4 medium red onions
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (1-1/4 pounds total)
  • 30 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons small capers 
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)




Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Peel the parsnips and cut into two or three segments, depending on their lengths. Then cut each piece lengthways into two or four. You want pieces roughly 2 inches long and ½-inch wide. 
Step 2: Peel the onions and cut each into six wedges.
Step 3: Place the parsnips and onions in a large mixing bowl and add ½ cup of the olive oil, the thyme, rosemary, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Mix well and spread out in a large roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes.
Step 4: While the parsnips are cooking, trim both ends of the sweet potatoes. Cut them (with their skins) in half, then each half into six wedges. 
Step 5: Add the potatoes to the pan with the parsnips and onion and stir well. Return to the oven to roast for a further 40 to 50 minutes.
Step 6: When all the vegetables are cooked through and have taken on a golden color, stir in the halved tomatoes. Roast for 10 minutes more. 
Step 7: Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice, capers, maple syrup, mustard, remaining 2 tablespoons oil and ½ teaspoon salt.
Step 8: Pour the dressing over the roasted vegetables as soon as you take them out of the oven. Stir well, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Scatter the sesame seeds over the vegetables if using and serve at the table in the roasting pan.