Flash in the Pan: Almond-Crusted Root Vegetable “Fries”
[Sometimes, you just want to eat something now. I've decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so easy to make that no recipe is required. Here's today's "Flash in the Pan." (For other FitP recipes, see "Categories" at right).]
[Rutabaga "fries"--who'd have ever thought?]
I hadn’t intended to post another Flash in the Pan so soon after the chia pudding a while ago, but it’s been that kind of week over here at the DDD household. . . and all I’ve had time for are lightning-quick recipes.
No matter; these oven fries have quickly become a new little obsession. They’re a simple, speedy way to spruce up your more conventional oven fries, and a convenient means to use root veggies that you might not normally consider eating (to wit, rutabaga–in fact, this is the only way I’ve ever had that vegetable and actually liked it!). And with the crazy Canadian weather still throwing a few final chilly rainstorms our way, these are a great comfort food.
[Parsnip fries--they'll make you a fan of parsnips!]
You can use pretty much any root vegetables you fancy here, or mix up several in one batch for a tasty, higher-protein side dish.
[Sweet Potato fries--a classic!]
So far, we’ve had these with rutabaga, parsnips, and sweet potatoes, but I can envision all kinds of variations: regular spuds would be a perfect foil for a spicy, almondy crust; or how about your favorite squash, cut into fries? You could even bake up some cauliflower florets this way.
I’ll be back next time with a “real” recipe for some yummy burgers. . . AND an exciting book giveaway!
“Mum, we’d be happy eating pretty much any variation of these. . . or how about just giving us some of that almond butter coating?”
Almond-Crusted Root Vegetable Oven “Fries”
This recipe couldn’t be simpler. The only caveat is to be sure to bake the fries long enough, so that the coating becomes somewhat crispy; this isn’t the time for mushy, just-done fries. When properly baked, the almond coating crisps up nicely, the fries themselves begin to caramelize and sweeten, and the whole package is entirely irresistible.
1 medium rutabaga, 3 medium parsnips, 2 medium sweet potatoes, or other root vegetables of your choice, peeled and cut into thin fry-like strips (or use a combination of those listed)
3 Tbsp (45 ml) smooth natural almond butter
1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) fine sea salt
other spices of your choice: garlic salt, curry powder, cumin, garam masala, Chinese 5 spice powder, etc. (about 1 tsp/5 ml total)
Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Line a large baking tray with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray.
Place the “fries” in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the almond butter, oil, and spices. Drizzle the coating over the fries, and toss the mixture with a large spoon (or even better, your hands) until they are all evenly coated.
Line the fries up on the cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake 35-50 minutes (depending on thickness of your fries), until the coating is browned and a bit crispy, and the fries are fully cooked. Makes 3-4 servings. Will keep, refrigerated, up to 3 days.