In Season Now … Caramelised Purple Carrots, Sweet Potatoes And Parsnips With Apricot Couscous

Well, it seems like winter has truly arrived in Sydney. Getting colder and the past week, frequent showers. It is the long weekend here, and raining pretty much the whole morning and afternoon this Saturday with rains predicted to continue for tomorrow.  Rainy days like these call for comfort foods of course. But I want to be comfortable as well and not standing or moving the whole time while I prepare and cook dinner. This is when roasting comes to the rescue. After preparing the dish and shoving it into the oven, I can relax and sit on the couch while food is roasting. Sounds lazy? Maybe but hey, we deserve lazy days every now and then.

Purple carrots and sweet potato roasts, yes I have tried them but not parsnips. I thought about throwing in some pumpkin as well but decided to keep it simple. Plus, they look enticing together in the baking tray, all colourful and similar cuts. Simply tossed in melted butter and honey mixture, then baked for at least 40 minutes, they are so delicious. By the way, if purple carrots are not available, by all means use regular orange ones.

I made an apricot couscous salad to pair these caramelised veggies with. Couscous prepared with chopped dried apricots, toasted pine nuts, parsley, cinnamon quill and ground coriander and cumin spices. Salad ready in 10 minutes.

caramelised carrots 1


caramelised carrots 3



(Serves 3-4)

For the caramelised vegetables 

  • 4 purple carrots
  • 2-3 sweet potatoes
  • 4 parsnips
  • 70g butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • fresh mint leaves, torn, to garnish

For the apricot couscous salad

  • 2 cups couscous
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cinnamon quill, broken into two pieces
  • 1 cup dried apricot, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 50g butter
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 190C degrees. Line a baking tray with paper.
  2. Prepare the vegetables. Trim ends of purple carrots, slice lengthwise into quarters. Trim ends of parsnips, peel then slice lengthwise into quarters.Peel sweet potatoes and cut into similar shapes as carrots and sweet potatoes. Place vegetables in prepared baking tray.
  3. Combine melted butter and honey in a small bowl or jug. Drizzle over vegetables. Toss well making sure vegetables are coated with butter and honey mixture.
  4. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, or until tender.
  5. Remove from oven. Garnish with torn mint leaves.
  6. To prepare couscous; melt butter in a small saucepan. Add cinnamon quill, ground coriander and cumin. Simmer over low heat for 2 minutes. Add chicken stock. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Add couscous to saucepan.Stir then cover pan with a lid. Stand for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove cinnamon quill from couscous mixture. With a fork, fluff couscous. Add chopped apricots, pine nuts and parsley. Stir to combine. Season with salt according to taste.
  8. Serve couscous with caramelised vegetables.

caramelised carrots 4

caramelised carrots 5

A wonderful combination, healthy and very tasty. Suitable for vegetarians but can also be served with roast chicken. And how easy was that to prepare these veggies and couscous? As Jamie Oliver would say, easy peasy!

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