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There are many Michigan root vegetables: parsnip, potato, sunchokes, rutabaga, sweet potato, carrot, and beet. I use about 3 pounds of root vegetables. There’s no need to peel the potatoes, sunchokes, or carrots; they’re just fine as they are.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Then, prep the roots by cutting them depending on the size and shape of the vegetables, cut them into one-quarter to one-half inch disks or one-half to three-quarter inch chunks. Put them into a 9 by 13 baking dish. Stir in one-half cup of extra virgin olive oil, coating the pieces.
Bake them covered for a half hour while you are prepping other ingredients. Depending on availability, I add in chopped red bell or other peppers, four minced shallots, and a handful of fresh herbs. The kind of herbs depends on what I have around, but rosemary, chives, oregano, and thyme all work well.
After the half hour, add the other ingredients to the pan and bake another 45 minutes for 1 and a quarter hours total – or until the vegetables are all soft.
As you serve, pour a dash of balsamic vinegar on top. I serve this with hearty Michigan bread and Michigan butter for a warm me up meal. You can also puree it in a blender and use it to stuff home-made ravioli.