“The Roots” Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables*

"The Roots" Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables from www.thenovicechefblog.com

One of my favorite restaurants in Tampa, Ella’s Folk Art Cafe, serves a dish called “The Roots”. Every time we get the chance to go there, I have a hard time forcing myself to order anything else. The description on their website goes like this:

The Roots Grilled Sweet Potato and Grilled Feta over Parsnip Puree and Herb Vinaigrette. Served with a Root Vegetable Chip & Pecan Salad and drizzled with Balsamic Reduction.

It sounds like heaven right? The sweet and savory flavors in combination with the hearty root vegetables make for a delicious dinner… Plus, it’s the perfect entree to order when I plan on stealing bites from everyone else’s dinner. :)

"The Roots" Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables 1 sm

Last month. my girl Megan over at Country Cleaver, made some Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables. Immediately my mind went to the last time I had “The Roots” at Ellas (before Christmas!) and I new it was time I try to recreate it in my own kitchen.

Megan used cabbage and as hard as I may try, I just can’t get on the cabbage band wagon…plus she kept it healthy with no extra toppings. Ella’s version is a little more involved with parsnip puree and has a bunch more steps for things like a vinaigrette, but I wanted to keep it simple enough that I could have it for week night dinners.

Once it was all put together, I didn’t miss anything with this rendition versus the one at Ella’s! I am so happy with how this turned out that I might actually be able to start ordering different things at Ella’s…well, maybe. 😉


"The Roots" Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables

Yield: serves 4

Recipe Note: I am getting a lot of questions about Balsamic Glaze. Balsamic Glaze can be purchased at most grocery stores right next to the Balsamic Vinegar. I buy mine at Publix for like $7, but if you can't find it, Amazon sells it by the 2 pack.


  • 10 oz Pearl Onions
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced in 2 inch chunks
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and diced in 2 inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or butter, melted)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
  • big pinch of kosher salt & fresh ground pepper


  • chopped pecans
  • crumbled feta
  • parsley, minced
  • balsamic glaze, for drizzling


Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a baking pan, set aside.

To quickly peel Pearl Onions: Bring a small pot of water to boil. Drop in pearl onions and let boil for 3 minutes. Transfer onions to cool water immediately. Using a sharp knife, cut off root end of onion and squeeze the other side. Onion will pop out.

Place onions, sweet potatoes and parsnips in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, balsamic glaze, salt and pepper. Pour balsamic mixture over veggies and toss to coat.

Transfer veggies to prepared baking pan and spread in an even layer. Roast veggies, stirring every 15 minutes, until tender. About 30 minutes.

Top veggies with pecans, feta, parsley and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.

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32 Responses to ““The Roots” Balsamic Roasted Root Vegetables”

  1. 1

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — February 8, 2013 @ 12:32 am

    Love roasted root veggies and balsamic glaze is my kryptonite. LOVE IT!

  2. 2

    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — February 8, 2013 @ 2:05 am

    Balsamic makes everything taste so good! This looks so hearty!

  3. 3

    Katie from Katie's Cucina — February 8, 2013 @ 7:44 am

    This sounds so good! I never thought to make a balsamic glaze! Must try soon.

  4. 4

    Cassie | Bake Your Day — February 8, 2013 @ 9:21 am

    You had me at pearl onions! I absolutely love this, Jessica.

  5. 5

    Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas — February 8, 2013 @ 9:23 am

    Roasted root vegetables are killer, and I’m always amazed by how many people have never tried parsnips! Oh they’re so good.

  6. 6

    Bev @ Bev Cooks — February 8, 2013 @ 10:21 am

    I need heaven to help me RIGHT. NOW.

  7. 7

    shelly (cookies and cups) — February 8, 2013 @ 10:53 am

    These are veggies I can get behind!

  8. 8

    natalie@thesweetslife — February 8, 2013 @ 11:06 am

    these sound absolutely perfect!

  9. 9

    Diana @ Sweet y Salado — February 8, 2013 @ 11:47 am

    You can’t go wrong with anything balsamic, strawberries, beef and veggies. This looks amazing!

  10. 10

    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — February 8, 2013 @ 11:58 am

    YES!!! I want to eat a whole pan of this!! Love the topping!!

  11. 11

    Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats — February 8, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

    This sounds heavenly!! The feta on top is the icing to my cake! haha 😛 Seriously though. Di.VINE!

  12. 12

    Eileen — February 8, 2013 @ 2:13 pm

    Roasted roots are one of my favorite winter foods! I’ve never tried it with balsamic, though. Can I claim to be a real foodblogger without using balsamic vinegar? Discuss. :)

  13. 13

    Wendy — February 8, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

    Isn’t it wonderful when you figure out how to make at home something you really love from a restaurant! These veggies look worth figuring out. :)

  14. 14

    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — February 9, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

    This sounds amazing! I can’t wait to try it!

  15. 15

    Lail | With A Spin — February 9, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

    Roasted root veggies are divine.

  16. 16

    jean aldridge — February 9, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

    hi, is the balsamic glaze a balsamic vinegar reduction or is it what is left as drippings from the roasted veggies? thanks!

    • Jessica replied: — February 11th, 2013 @ 1:47 pm

      Hi Jean,

      Balsamic Glaze can be purchased at most grocery stores right next to the Balsamic Vinegar. I buy mine at Publix for like $7, but if you can’t find it, Amazon sells it by the 2 pack. But it is cheaper if you can find it at the grocery store!

  17. 17

    Joanne — February 9, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

    This is seriously my kind of meal! I’d probably top it with a fried egg. As I do with everything these days…

  18. 18

    Aggie — February 9, 2013 @ 5:54 pm

    I love those kind of dishes at restaurants, the ones you just can’t help but order & finally have to recreate at home. I have several of those :)

    This looks amazing & something I could eat weekly. Serious yum.

  19. 19

    Kathleen — February 9, 2013 @ 6:57 pm

    I’d love to know what the balsamic glaze is myself. I’ve never heard of it, it sounds fantastic. How do you make it? Please share, this recipe will not be the same without it.

    • Jessica replied: — February 11th, 2013 @ 1:47 pm

      Hi Kathleen,

      Balsamic Glaze can be purchased at most grocery stores right next to the Balsamic Vinegar. I buy mine at Publix for like $7, but if you can’t find it, Amazon sells it by the 2 pack. But it is cheaper if you can find it at the grocery store!

      P.S. Yes, you can make it…but it’s easy to overcook it and it will seize up instead of staying like a syrup. Plus I love having a bottle around to drizzle over fresh mozzarella & cherry tomatoes for a snack. YUM! 😉

  20. 20

    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — February 9, 2013 @ 10:48 pm

    I absolutely love any veggie when it is roasted! So this sounds amazing and so does that restaurant! If I ever make it to Tampa it will be at the top of my list to try!

  21. 21

    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — February 10, 2013 @ 1:06 am

    This will definitely get me to eat my veggies!

  22. 22

    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — February 10, 2013 @ 2:12 am

    I love parsnips and sometimes use them in place of potatoes to make mash! This mixture looks amazing though :)

  23. 23

    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — February 11, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

    Awesome recipe! This looks so flavorful and delicious. I love throwing a big mess of winter vegetables onto a pan with simple flavorings. Super yum!

  24. 24

    Alyssa — February 11, 2013 @ 8:09 pm

    Roasted root vegetables almost make wisc

  25. 25

    Alyssa — February 11, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

    Roasted root vegetables almost make Wisconsin winters bearable. I love your addition of the pearl onions to the mix!

  26. 26

    Christine @ Cooking with Cakes — February 12, 2013 @ 9:39 am

    yum this sounds delicious!

    I have a tried and true roasted veggie recipe with zucchini, eggplant, peppers, and onion – I also dredge them in a balsamic/evoo marinade, so you’re inspiring me to post it on my site!

    also.. I now may add sweet potato :)

  27. 27

    Carol Archambeault — February 17, 2013 @ 11:54 am

    Great combo of flavors — sweet and savory — yum!

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  30. 30

    Marglt — September 10, 2015 @ 7:34 pm

    When I think ROOT, I think and LOVE, Roasted BEETS and BRUSSEL SPROUTS! My husband and I usually sit by the oven door and “test them,” so many times, there are scarce few left that actually make it onto our plates! I love the ones you used, I would just have to use MORE! I only found your site tonight and cannot get up….thank goodness I made spaghetti sauce yesterday and had a spaghetti squash I could throw in the pressure cooker tonight!! Whew!

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