Instead of turning on the oven to caramelize root vegetables, try this easy stovetop technique. First the parsnips and carrots are browned in hot oil; then a flavorful liquid, in this case tangerine juice and honey, is added to braise and tenderize the vegetables; a sprinkling of sugar toward the end of cooking gives them an appealing glaze.
Feel free to experiment with other root vegetables, juices, sweeteners and herbs to vary the results. For example, baby turnips and rutabagas are delicious cooked in this manner with apple cider, a splash of maple syrup and a sprinkling of fresh thyme.
From The Earthbound Cook: 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and a Healthy Planet by Myra Goodman
Place the olive oil in a large skillet and heat it over medium-high heat. When hot, add the parsnips and carrots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables turn golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the tangerine juice, hot water, and honey in a small bowl, and stir to dissolve the honey.
Add the juice mixture to the skillet and bring to the start of a simmer. Then reduce the heat to medium, cover the skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are almost tender, about 10 minutes.
Remove the cover, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the sugar over the vegetables and cook until they’re glazed and caramelized, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, and season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Transfer to a warm platter, and serve hot.
Note: To ensure even cooking, select parsnips and carrots that are the same diameter, if possible. Halve or quarter the thicker parts so that all the pieces are similar in size. If the parsnips are more than an inch wide at the top, remove and discard the tough core.