Maggy and I were at the farm stand near our Pennsylvania house the other day, and we noticed they were practically giving away the end-of-season corn, tomatoes, and watermelons. They know what we know. It’s decidedly fall, and most of us are ready to switch from delicate summer lettuces to hearty fall vegetables. These last few weeks we’ve been enjoying shredded Brussels sprouts salad, a recipe we’ll be sharing in the coming weeks, but we’ve also started serving up root vegetables, which we occasionally shred into slaws but are much more likely to roast.
We never roast just what we need for one meal. We fill up a big rimmed baking sheet or two. With roasted root vegetables on hand, it’s easy to make quick soups, pastas, and bean and grain salads. We especially like serving them warm from the oven with a vinaigrette drizzle. If you don’t have time to make dressing, simply toss them with a little extra-virgin olive oil and a few drops of balsamic or sherry vinegar.
Measuring eight generous cups of chunky vegetables can be clumsy, so just fill a large rimmed baking sheet (18- by 12-inches) in a tight, but single layer.
Every oven and roasting pan is different, so cooking times may vary. Just understand the principle—you’re using the oven element like a big stovetop burner to cook and brown the vegetables as quickly as possible. If you’re using an especially thin pan, your vegetables may brown more quickly. If so, turn them sooner than the suggested twenty minutes.
Come March I’m sure we’ll be longing for lettuce, but for now we’re diggin’ root vegetables.
- A generous 8 cups of any combination of the following:
- Medium carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
- Medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thick
- Medium boiling or baking potatoes, sliced thick
- New potatoes, halved
- Small onions, halved length- or crosswise*
- Large shallots, not peeled and halved lengthwise
- Medium turnips, peeled and sliced thick
- Rutabagas, peeled, halved or quartered, depending on size and sliced thick
- Winter Squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch chunks
- Parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
- If heating element is below the oven floor, adjust oven rack on lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees and proceed with recipe, roasting vegetables until golden brown on one side, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Toss vegetables of choice with oil, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Turn onto a large (12- by 18-inch) lipped cookie sheet that has been coated with vegetable cooking spray, making sure that if they have one, vegetables are on their flat (or one of their flat) sides.
- If heating element is above the oven floor, set pan on lowest rack in cold oven. Turn oven on to 425 degrees and roast until cut sides are caramel brown in color, about 20 minutes. Turn vegetables over; continue to cook until just tender, about 5 minutes longer.
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Salt and ground black pepper
- ½ cup pure olive oil
- Bring apple cider to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat; continue to boil until cider is reduced to a thin syrup consistency (1/3 cup), 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer reduced cider to a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Whisk in garlic, vinegar, mustard and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil to make a thick emulsified dressing. Serve (Can be refrigerated several days).