Posted by Bon Appetit
Filed Under: inside the test kitchen
Photograph by Matt Duckor
In the December issue, we revealed the beauty of roasting a chicken encased in salt: the crust keeps the meat juicy and seasons it at the same time. Two birds! (Get it?) But why should poultry have all the fun? Give your veggies something to be excited about, too. Salt roasting root vegetables such as beets, parsnips, and sweet potatoes keeps them moist and seasoned from the outside in. All you need to do is coat, roast, peel, and serve. Here’s how:
7 egg whites
5 cups kosher salt
2 Tbsp. thyme leaves
2 lb. assorted medium sized root vegetables such as red and golden beets, sweet potatoes, parsnips, large fingerling potatoes, and carrots, washed and thoroughly dried
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. thinly sliced chives
1 Tbsp. finely chopped flat leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Flat leaf parsley leaves
Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 400.
Combine egg whites, salt and thyme in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly, using your hands, to create a texture resembling wet sand, about 2-3 minutes.
Halve larger vegetables as necessary so that all are around the same size. Pack salt mixture onto each individual vegetable, making sure no skin is exposed. Arrange prepared vegetables on a rimmed baking tray so that none are touching. Bake until crust is deep golden brown, and vegetables are tender when pierced with a pairing knife, about 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on baking tray 5-10 minutes. Peel the salt crust away from the vegetables, then peel the skins while still warm. Cut vegetables into 1 1/2″ pieces.
Toss with olive oil, chives, parsley and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange on a serving platter and top with parsley. Serve with roasted chicken, grilled steak, or toss with thinly sliced kale and eat as a salad.