If you think of parsnips as a sweeter, more complexly flavored carrot, you'll understand why it's an integral part of any root veggie medley. Of course, most folks don't think of parsnips at all. "It's one of the most underrated vegetables, maybe in part because it looks like a carrot that went funny," says Mark Estee, chef-owner of Campo, a modern Italian mecca in Reno, Nevada, that has earned raves nationwide. "They have an earthy sugariness and carry flavors really well."
Raw, shaved root veggies make this recipe shine: You expect them to be roasted in this context, but the uncooked ribbons lend toothy textural contrast to the tender, succulent lamb. Try Estee's original version of the dish in November at Campo.
LEG OF LAMB WITH SHAVED FALL VEGETABLES Hands-on: 1 hr. 30 min. Total: 27 hr. 45 min.
3 tablespoons garlic powder 2 tablespoons black pepper 2 tablespoons cumin seeds, toasted 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted 1 tablespoon sweet paprika 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 2 tablespoons harissa or hot chile sauce 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided 1 (5-pound) boneless leg of lamb, trimmed 4 cups water ½ cup finely diced sweet onion ½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 cups shaved peeled parsnips 2 cups shaved peeled carrots 2 cups shaved peeled butternut squash 1 cup shaved peeled turnips 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Combine first 8 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add 1 teaspoon salt to spice mixture. Rub spice mixture evenly over lamb. Reroll roast; secure at 1-inch intervals with twine. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 6 to 24 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 375°.
3. Remove lamb from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Place lamb on a wire rack; place rack in a roasting pan. Pour 4 cups water into pan. Roast lamb at 375° for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until thermometer registers 130°. Remove from oven. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes; cut across grain into thin slices.
4. Place drippings from pan in a small saucepan over high heat; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1 cup.
5. Combine onion and next 5 ingredients (through ½ teaspoon pepper) in a small bowl. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt.
6. Combine remaining salt, parsnips, and remaining ingredients in a bowl; toss to coat. Serve with lamb. Top lamb with herb mixture; drizzle with jus.
SERVES 16 (serving size: about 3 ounces lamb, ? cup vegetables, 2 teaspoons herb mixture, and 1 tablespoon jus) CALORIES 311; FAT 16.8g (sat 5.5g, mono 8.4g, poly 1.4g); PROTEIN 30g; CARB 9g; FIBER 3g; CHOL 96mg; IRON 3mg; SODIUM 329mg; CALC 57mg