Roasted Roots & Squash
Ever wonder what to do with the masses of squashes and root vegetables available at this time of year? There are a dozen or more varieties of squashes as well as parsnips, carrots, potatoes, celery root, rutabaga, turnips, fennel and beets in a variety of colours. In our house the answer is roast them!
Root vegetables and squashes are naturally rich in starches and sugars and they help to keep us warm during the colder months. Eating a bowl of roasted veggies is like curling up with a warm blanket- one of the wonderful benefits of eating seasonally. Nature really does provide us with what our bodies need if we only take the time to look and listen.
Roasting these fall beauties is a delicious way to use up a variety of vegetables that you have hanging around the house and chances are you may already have the ingredients needed to make this dish. Any combination of vegetables is great and I always love to add some onion (any kind) and sometimes garlic or fresh herbs. This particular version I added a little drizzle of dark maple syrup for good measure and the hint of maple was the perfect match. This time around I served the veggies for dinner with some elk sausage and a nice big salad- a perfect and easy fall meal.
Because I used purple beets the other veggies took on a bit of a pink hue that will make the little girls in your life squeal. If you prefer to not have all your vegetables turn pinkish, use the yellow or stripped beets or leave them out all together.
Roasted vegetables are great warm or at room temperature. I recommend making extra as they keep well and are perfect for snacking on, turning into a salad, throwing in an omelette or packing for lunch.
Roasted Roots and Squash
This is less of a recipe and more of a guideline. Be as creative as you like and use what ever combination of vegetables inspires you or look the best. Most of the time I just use a little olive oil, salt and pepper. The vegetables are rich with natural sugars and get beautifully caramelized without any sweetener.
Variety of root vegetables: carrots, potatoes, celeriac, parsnips, beets…
Squash, any variety will do but I really like delicata
Fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary or savory
A drizzle of maple syrup or local honey
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Peel and chop vegetables so they are roughly the same size. If they are organic and the skins look nice, leave them on- less work and more nutrition.
Toss vegetables with olive oil to lightly coat and add maple syrup or honey if you like. Season with salt, pepper and any fresh herbs.
Place the vegetables on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan. Pop in the oven and roast for about 1 hour. The cooking time will vary depending on how many vegetables you are doing. You will know when they are done when they are getting caramelized and soft.