Caramelized Veggies With Poppy Seed Dressing


Give new life to roasted vegetables with a drizzle of a creamy, punchy dressing.

Caramelized Veggies with Poppy Seed Dressing
Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Cook Time:
25 mins
Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

Truth is, you can't go wrong with a roasted vegetable side dish, and this recipe is no exception thanks to vibrant beets, rainbow carrots, parsnips, and fennel. Extra magic comes from a punchy poppy seed dressing that coats those colorful crisp-tender vegetables.

While the veggies roast, mix up the dressing using a base of lemon, garlic, tahini, and olive oil. Flecked with parsley and studded with poppy seeds, this dressing brightens the dish, adding a pop of flavor to your meal. Pro tip: Before roasting, arrange vegetables in an even layer to ensure they pick up color and don't steam.


  • 1 small bulb fennel, plus fronds for serving

  • 1 bunch rainbow carrots (1¼ lb), halved lengthwise if large

  • 3 small parsnips (about 7 oz total), halved lengthwise or quartered if large

  • 2 medium beets (about 10 oz total, preferably golden), peeled and cut into 8 wedges

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 small clove garlic, finely grated (preferably on a microplane)

  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp fresh juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 2 tablespoons well-stirred tahini (sesame paste)

  • cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut the fennel bulb in half, remove its core, and then cut each half into quarters and separate the layers.

  2. Place fennel, carrots, parsnips, and beets on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and season with ¾ teaspoon salt and the pepper. Toss to coat and then spread in an even layer. Roast until tender when pierced with a fork and golden brown in spots, 25 to 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, stir garlic and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl, and then mash with a fork until a paste forms. Add lemon zest and juice, tahini, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil, whisking until smooth. Stir in parsley, poppy seeds, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons warm water until dressing reaches desired pourable consistency.

  4. Drizzle half of the dressing over roasted vegetables, and then serve remaining dressing alongside. Top with fennel fronds.

Poppy Pros

These tiny seeds bring crunch to baked goods and salad dressings, and contain healthy fats, magnesium, and a hefty hit of calcium. Since you likely won't eat them by the tablespoon, find creative ways to add them to your diet, such as a topping for oatmeal or yogurt.

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