The humble potato is worth celebrating every day. Whether baked, mashed, fried or roasted, spuds can and should be enjoyed often. They have a wonderful starchy texture and mild flavor, making them the perfect starting point for so many dishes. While we eat them year-round, potatoes are usually harvested before the first frost, meaning they are perfectly ripe and ready to enjoy during the autumn and winter months. In this quick and simple side dish, potatoes join forces with another popular root vegetable — carrots.
The earthy flavor of potatoes and the sweet nuanced flavor of carrots are a match made in heaven, but go ahead and throw some nutty parsnips into the mix. And roasting them in a hot oven only brings out more of their natural flavors. But what makes this side dish so special is the use of fresh herbs. We use a combination of hearty winter herbs like oregano, rosemary and thyme. While more tender herbs may wilt in the oven, these woodsy herbs hold up well to high temperatures, imparting their robust aromas to the vegetables.
We make cleanup quick with this dish, too. Instead of dirtying a big sheet pan, wrap these hearty root vegetables in packets of aluminum foil and cook them over the grill. This method is sort of a combination of grilling, roasting and steaming. The foil traps some moisture in with the vegetables, allowing them to cook in just 20 minutes. Meanwhile, the extreme heat of the grill adds some charred flavor like you would get from roasting a pan of root vegetables. Serve these foil packets alongside your protein of choice and settle in for a cozy weeknight dinner.
In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, carrots and/or parsnips with the rosemary, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil.2.
Tear off 4 foot-long pieces of heavy-duty foil or 4 2-foot-long pieces of regular aluminum foil and fold them over to create a double layer of insulation. Divide the vegetables evenly between the foil pieces, mounding them in the center of each piece. Crimp and seal the foil packets.
3. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat.
4. Place the foil packets on the grill and cook for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and starting to caramelize in spots. (Take care when opening the foil packets, as steam will escape.) Serve immediately.