Root Vegetable, Caramelized Onion and Chestnut Crumble

Parsnips, carrots and onions are my comfort foods in the vegetable world. Even though I like these three ingredients all year, there’s something better about them when the weather gets colder. Maybe because they’re earthy and sturdy and instead of steaming them or roasting them as “fries” like I do year ‘round, I can use them as part of another filling winter dish, like beef stew or vegetable soup.

Or for those dinners when the vegetable is more the star, not the meat or fish.

Or those times when I have a traditional meat or fish meal but have vegetarians as guests and need something substantial for them. Thanksgiving for example. I make a lot of side dishes so none of the folks who don’t eat turkey goes hungry as the rest of us are stuffing ourselves.

This Root Vegetable Crumble contains the big three plus winter squash and chestnuts, which make the dish even more suitable for winter. The streusel top gives it some eye appeal don’t you think? And has a lushly soft texture to it. 

I make this dish a day ahead and pop it into the oven for dinner.

Root Vegetable, Caramelized Onion and Chestnut Crumble

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 medium parsnips, diced
  • 1 cup diced butternut squash
  • 1 dozen cooked, peeled chestnuts (I use packaged)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped almonds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter or margarine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a casserole dish. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until they are golden brown. Place the onions on the bottom of the casserole dish. While the onions are cooking, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the carrots, parsnip and squash. Bring to a second boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until almost tender. Drain and place in the casserole dish on top of the onions. Scatter the chestnuts on top. Make the crust: mix the flour, breadcrumbs, almonds, thyme and some salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Add the butter in chunks and work into the dry ingredients until they are crumbly. Scatter on top of the vegetables. Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 4 servings