French fries… it’s never a debate whether you love them or not, but rather which “fry persona” you particularly relate to the most. Are you a chill waffle fry lover? Perhaps a curly fry freak? Do you like them extra crispy giving you that added crunch or do you long for the comfort of a soft and potato-y fry? Have you explored the indulgent wonders of the truffle fries at Prime One Twelve, partied all the way to CA just for animal style fries at In-n-Out, or are you a plain jane kinda fry kid? Regardless of how delicious any fry variety may be, the name in itself gives way to its true colors… fried. Even if you’re at the most organic, healthful restaurant on the block you can bet those organic yucca fries on the menu are deep fried in some seriously organic oil.
Fries are the kind of food where it’s love at first bite; no matter how young or old you are, after you have your first french fry- whether it be at my arc-ed nemesis McDonalds, a friends birthday party, defrosted in your oven or made from scratch- you’re a goner. We all know that they’re unhealthy, but as of late I cannot stop ordering them wherever I go. Since I wouldn’t dare make them myself I had to come up with something because my fry fondness was starting to get out of hand.
So I made these roasted rosemary root fries; they are a combination of 3 delicious root vegetables- celeriac (celery root), parsley root, and parsnips. Since it’s winter, root vegetables are overflowing in the grocery stores, making this a widely available option. These root vegetables are particularly high in vitamins A, E, C, calcium, iron, potassium and fiber; they have also been used to ease digestion and detoxify your body. Parsley root (which looks similar to parsnips) actually has an essential oil, apiole, which may be associated with uterine contractions so if you are pregnant it is best to stick to other root vegetables. Another note about parsley root, which is easily the rarest of the bunch to come across, while it may have the most potato-like taste, it does have the highest water content so it wont get extra crispy in the oven. (For all of those lucky ones who have gardens over flowing with parsley, this is the perfect recipe for you because you don’t have to toss the roots, just dig them up and start peeling!)
I’m sure you’re thinking, but do they really taste like fries? The findings of a somewhat-blind unintentional experiment indicates yes! I made these yesterday afternoon and later that night while we were finishing up dinner, I began telling Rach about the root fries and how I really do think they taste like french fried potatoes. All the while, Sarah had been in her room getting ready for dinner. She comes out, and immediately starts in on the fries. “Amy, why did you make french fries? We are trying to be healthy!!” Scientific proof, right?
Roasted Rosemary Root “Fries”
5 large roots (about 2.5 lbs total)—I used celery root (celeriac), parsnips and parsley root
1-1 ½ tablespoons canola oil
Coarse Sea Salt (fleur de sel)
Freshly ground pepper
Scant 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Celery or Truffle Salt (optional)
What you’ll need… a peeler, a large bowl and 2 baking sheet
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.
Peel roots and cut them into French-fry sized sticks (note* the thinner you make them the crispier they will be). Place them in a bowl and toss with canola oil.
Lay them out evenly on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet (use two if need be so you don’t over crowd), and sprinkle with salt, pepper and fresh rosemary.
Roast for 20 minutes, toss and place back in the oven for 10 minutes until golden on the edges and crispy on the ends! Sprinkle with a little celery salt or truffle salt at the end to really put it over the edge.
Serve immediately with this Rustic Homemade Tomato Ketchup.
Nutrition info: Each serving of the fries will vary depending on the roots you used. On average, a serving should be about 75 calories, 14 g of carbohydrates, 2 g of protein, and 2 g of fat.