Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Easy Roasted Fall Vegetables

Must be fall 'cause the winter squash are back in stores! Who doesn't love the hearty, mouthfilling sweetness of roasted or braised winter squash? (Put your hand down.)

What makes it even better is that it's so simple to put together a fall vegetable roast; all you have to do is cut them up, toss with oil, and pop in a 425F oven for 30 minutes, turning them halfway through. If the squash is ripe, it should be sweet enough by itself not to need any other flavoring, though it can be nice to add some in, like cinnamon and ginger, or garlic and herbs, maybe some cumin, or brown sugar, or whatever you want.

It's great also that other fall vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes will cook in the same time at the same oven temperature, so you can mix them together and get some variations-on-a-theme going in your vegetable roast.

Oh, also, the squash pictured above is called a "Red Kuri" squash or ウチキクリuchikikuri in Japanese, meaning, much more poetically, bashful or reserved chestnut. Red kuri's, like kabocha squash have soft skin that is completely edible once cooked. Don't toss the skins out!

Got any favorite seasonings for roasting squash?

Easy Roasted Fall Vegetables - Base Recipe

1/2 medium kabocha or red kuri squash, seeds removed and cut into large chunks with skin still on3 large carrots, roll cut into large pieces
(the vegetables will shrink while roasting so don’t cut any of them too small)
[other recommended fall vegetables to consider adding to the mix or replacing others with: butternut squash with skin removed, sweet potato, parsnips]

vegetable, peanut, or other neutral flavored oil

suggested seasoning ingredients:
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp each of cinnamon and ground dried ginger
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4-5 whole, unpeeled garlic cloves and 1/2 tsp dried thyme
coconut oil or butter and brown sugar

Note: the proportions here are just an example. Feel free to adjust them to your needs.
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425F while you do the prep work.
  2. Add vegetables with just enough oil to lightly coat the vegetables, and seasoning ingredients of choice in a medium baking pan and toss to coat. Pan should be large enough to hold vegetables in one layer. If not, divide vegetables into multiple pans. (Line pan(s) with aluminum foil if desired for easy clean up afterwards.)
  3. Put pan on rack set at upper third of oven and roast for 30 minutes, turning the vegetables halfway through. Serve hot, room temperature, or even chilled.


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