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Roasted Root Vegetable Cheese Tray by Early Morning Farm CSA

Entertaining this weekend??  This cheese platter takes the best of our winter root vegetables and replaces the traditional crudite or crackers with thin roasted roots alongside hearty cheeses and dark beer.  The perfect beginning to your meal – and a refreshing alternative to traditional fare.

Roasted Root Vegetable Cheese Tray by Early Morning Farm CSA

Gather up your favorite roots-I grabbed two parsnips, two watermelon radishes, and a handful of carrots.  Daikon radish and turnips would also work well.  Slice into rounds about 3/8 inch think.  Don’t bust out your ruler, they don’t need to be exact, but 1/4 inch will be too thin, and 1/2 inch too thick.  Peel the parsnips and carrots, leave the skin on the radish.  For the parsnips and carrots, cut the wider end into rounds and then cut the skinnier end at an angle.   Arrange in an even layer on an oiled baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil.

Roasted Root Vegetable Cheese Tray by Early Morning Farm CSA

Bake the rounds just 15 minutes and then flip, remembering to sprinkle this side also with salt and pepper.  Keep an eye on the smaller veggies, but another 15 minutes should do it.  Serve at room temp or chilled with a variety of cheeses.  I usually see Irish cheeses at stores this time of year, and they pair nicely with the savory roasted roots.  Pick up a few varieties and they don’t all have to be Irish.  Here I went with Dubliner, an aged organic raw cheese, and a smoked cheddar.  Pair with a dark beer, like Black IPA or Irish Stout. (or a gluten-free beer if you must)

Roasted Root Vegetable Cheese Tray

2 parsnips
2 watermelon radishes
4 carrots
olive oil, salt +pepper, for sprinkling
variety of 3-4 cheeses to serve

Preheat oven to 400°F Wash and thoroughly dry roots.  Slice into rounds about 3/8 inch thick, cutting the skinnier ends of carrots and parsnips on the diagonal.  Spread in an even layer onto two oiled baking sheets.  Sprinkle with olive oil, salt + pepper.

Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and flip over.  Sprinkle salt + pepper over tops.  Return to oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until vegetables are softened and browned on the edges.  Chill to room temperature and serve, paired with cheeses and a dark beer.

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