One of the benefits of dropping temps is the ability to utilize the oven without turning the kitchen into a sauna. In fact, this time of year, we’re looking for just about any excuse to turn up the heat. For warmth-inducing recipe inspo, we turned to Slow Fires: Mastering New Ways to Braise, Roast, and Grill ($22; amazon.com), the debut cookbook of Justin Smillie, chef at trendy N.Y.C.-based Californian-Italian fusion restaurant Upland. The book, which celebrates “slowly built flavor and balanced dishes,” teaches home cooks how to make all of Smillie’s famous dishes, from his peppercorn-crusted, slow-roasted short rib to his stunning preserved lemons (which even line the walls of Upland). Below, a recipe for caramelized parsnips, which Smillie serves with salt-roasted sea bass and grape vinaigrette. Try the recipe as is, or, at the suggestion of the chef, caramelize a whole medley of winter root vegetables.
2 lbs parnsips, scrubbed and stems removed
2 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black peppercorns
1/4 tsp ground mace or nutmeg
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the parsnips into long, 1/2-inch-thick planks.
2. In a medium bowl, toss the parsnips with the olive oil, a few generous pinches of salt and pepper, and mace or nutmeg.
3. Spread the parsnips on a rimmed baking sheet, so they fit comfortably in an even layer. Roast on the oven’s center rack, flipping them halfway through, for 35 minutes, or until caramelized and tender. Remove from the oven and serve.
4. These can also be held at room temperature for up to 2 hours in advance and reheated just before serving.