Fall for Veggies

_MG_5520After a long and hot summer that lasted well into November, we in the Bay Area are finally enjoying some cooler fall weather. The holidays sneak up on us quicker each year, it seems, and a trip to Costco recently confirmed that it’s time to start thinking about Christmas. But before I tune into the all-Christmas-all-the-time radio station, I’m going to slow down to savor my favorite holiday of all, Thanksgiving.

Fall and winter cooking hold a special place in my heart. It’s the time of year that you wear your slippers in the kitchen, look forward to turning on the stove, make everything into soup, and break out the fall flavors of rosemary, thyme, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

For a recent Friendsgiving celebration I decided to roast some of my favorite vegetables. Unlike my favorite summer vegetables, fall vegetables naturally lend themselves to caramelization, which is what makes them so irresistible. For this roast I used a combination of carrots, turnips, parsnips, red onion, leek, red beets, and golden beets seasoned with rosemary, garlic, and thyme and a marinade of olive oil, honey, and balsamic vinegar.

If you’re wondering about the long gap between this post and the last, allow me to explain. We’ve both had some big life changes during the past year. O has decided to pursue a career in the medical field and has put enormous amounts of time and effort into studying for the MCATs, volunteering at a local free clinic, and applying for school – yup, she’s awesome! L had a baby girl in June that has been keeping her plenty busy. The fun is just beginning with the little one starting on solids, and from the looks of it she will be a FWE fan!

Disclaimer: Baby did not eat the recipe featured in this post since it contains honey. L makes all her own baby food and may post recipes in the future. 

Roasted Fall Veggies
Serves 20 (this was for a large party but can easily be scaled down)

  • 7 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 5 red beets, peeled and chopped
  • 5 golden beets, peeled and chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 parnips, peeled and chopped
  • 5 turnips, peeled and chopped
  • 2 leeks (white & light green parts only, chopped
  • 3 red onions, chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 7 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp local honey 🙂
  • salt & pepper to taste

The hard part here is prepping all your veggies. I find that food that looks good also tastes better, so take care to chop all your veggies to around the same size (they’ll cook more evenly, too)!

Preheat your oven to 450° F. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey and whisk together. Chop all your veggies, remove rosemary and thyme from stems, and then mix them together in a large bowl with the marinade and season generously with salt and pepper.

Lay out your veggies in a single layer on a baking sheet, roast for 40 minutes. One layer here is key to get that really nice caramelization. Since I was making such a large batch in a limited amount of time, I didn’t have the opportunity to make one layer and as a result the veggies didn’t get that really nice roasted texture I was aiming for. They still tasted amazing, but I will make the time to roast them in one layer next time I make these veggies!

 

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