It snowed on Saturday. I never think it is going to snow in Charlotte because the news media is always like, “Aaaahhhh, it’s going to snow! Take shelter! Stay off the roads! The snow is coming, the snow is coming, THE SNOW IS COMING!” And then one snowflake falls from the sky. Growing up in the Midwest, my baseline for “it’s going to snow” is much different than what actually happens. It’s always so disappointing.
I once got my car stuck in a snow drift as I drove up our lane at home. I was so pissed off about it, I stomped all the way up to the house and took a nap. It was not until it was dark that I finally asked my dad to help me get the car out of the driveway. I imagine he was not all that pleased with how I handled the situation, but we managed.
Despite the nonsense of navigating through the stuff, part of me misses a good winter snow. I don’t need five months of the junk, but a day or two is kind of nice.
So on Saturday I got right out in our little snow, which turned out to be not all that little with over an inch falling in just a couple of hours. Where was I off to? The grocery store, of course. But instead of buying milk and bread, I bought some root vegetables to roast for this delicious winter Jambalaya.
Sausage and seafood are typically found in Jambalaya, but this winter version replaces the meat with root vegetables. I know. I’m asking you to give up spicy sausage and the fruit of the sea for carrots, parsnips, and potatoes. The sweetness of the roasted vegetables and the spiciness of the broth pack such a flavor punch you won’t even miss them. Enjoy!
Yield 4 -6
- For the Root Vegetables
- 1 cup peeled and chopped carrots (approximately 2 large carrots)
- 1 cup peeled and chopped parsnips (approximately 1 large parsnip)
- 1 cup (peeled and) diced yellow potatoes (approximately 1 medium potato)
- 1 cup peeled and diced sweet potatoes (approximately 1 medium potato)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- For the Rice
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup rice
- For the Broth
- 1 cup yellow onion (approximately 1 medium onion)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- Toss the peeled and chopped vegetables with the olive oil and salt, and distribute them in an even layer across a baking sheet.
- Place in an oven heated to 350 degrees F and roast for 40 minutes. Stir every 10 to 15 minutes to ensure even-roasting. They will be soft when done.
- While the root vegetables roast, prepare the rice and the broth.
- In a medium pot, bring the water to a boil and then stir in the rice.
- Cover and allow to simmer for 35-40 minutes until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
- In a deep skillet over medium low heat, combine the onion, the olive oil and the seasonings.
- Saute until the oven is soft, 5 to 8 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste, vegetable stock and the can of chopped tomatoes (along with their juice).
- Allow the mixture to come to a boil, then remove from heat and set aside.
- Once the vegetables are roasted and the rice is cooked, stir them into the broth.
- Serve and enjoy.
The peeled portion of the yellow potatoes requirement is written in parentheses because I never peel white or yellow potatoes. Even when mashed, I leave the skins on. Feel free to remove the skins if desired, but the jambalaya will turn out just fine if they are left on. Unless you have a very deep skillet, adding the roasted root vegetables to the broth mixture while still in the skillet will likely cause it to overflow. If you have a Dutch oven, using it in place of the skillet should work. I do not have a Dutch oven, so I prepared my broth in a cast iron skillet. I then poured it in a stock pot along with the roasted root vegetables. As for the rice, you can add rice soaked overnight (and then drained) into the skillet after the onion is soft and before the addition of the tomato paste. If you go this route, allow the rice to cook for a few minutes to evaporate any water leftover from its long soak. The rice will then cook along with the broth. I used the method but was not impressed with al dente texture of the rice, therefore I have written the recipe to suggest preparing the rice separately and then stirring it in along with the vegetables.