Fall Roasted Vegetables
It finally feels like fall around here and I have to tell you that I’m happy about that. Fall is my favorite time of the year. It’s a cozy time filled with soups, stews, savory chicken dishes, big bowls of steel cut oats, and of course fall roasted veggies! Yes, I’m someone who gets excited by butternut squash, acorn squash, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and sweet potatoes! I simply adore roasted vegetables. They get all caramelized and crispy on the outside, and stay soft and tender on the inside. Roasting vegetables brings out the natural sweetness in vegetables. The sweet potatoes and squash get a bit sweeter, and the red onion sweetens considerably (especially when you use coconut oil to roast it up) and it’s bitter and pungent flavor dissipates. If you have picky eaters who are not fans of vegetables, try roasting some up and I bet they’ll be fans!
I love roasting a big batch of vegetables on a Sunday, as they can be use in various recipes through the week. I’ll mix them in with some brown rice or quinoa for an easy and quick meatless side-dish, lunch or dinner. I love to top them on a pizza for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
Roasted vegetables also just great to serve up as a side-dish, or to just enjoy alone. These vegetables would be great to serve up to your guests at Thanksgiving, as they don’t need to be hot to enjoy them, which helps when all of the ovens are being used cooking other things. Roasted vegetables are just awesome and so easy to whip up, so come on give them a try!
fall roasted vegetables:
equipment needed: 2 rimmed baking sheets, parchment paper
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut roughly between 1/2 to 1-inch cubes
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed, (keep skin on for extra fiber) cut roughly between 1/2 to 1-inch cubes
- 1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered, then each quarter cut in half
- 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil – coconut oil actually enhances the sweet flavor of the vegetables and is a wonderful high heat oil to cook with
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt – I’m big on using unrefined sea salts (more on that in a later post) and I Celtic Sea Salt®, Light Grey, By The Grain & Salt Society, Coarse Ground, 1 lb love this brand from Selina
Preheat oven/ovens to 450 degrees, and line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. It’s better to use a baking sheet rather than a baking dish, as this allows vegetables to brown rather than steam.
Fact: Most commercial baking sheets are made of heavy-duty aluminum, which like aluminum foil will leach into your food, so always line your rimmed baking sheets/sheet pans with parchment paper. The parchment paper prevents the aluminum from leaching into your food, so it’s basically a barrier. Parchment paper also helps with clean up and to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan.
When cutting the squash and sweet potatoes into cubes, the biggest thing is to try and make them all uniform in size, so they all cook at the same time. I usually cut mine into 1/2-inch to 1-inch cubes.
Cubing the butternut squash: Peel the butternut squash using a vegetable peeler. Cut squash in half at neck (this is where neck ends and body of squash begins to curve out). To cut neck end of squash. Cut squash neck in half lengthwise, then slice each half into strips and then each strip into cubes. To cut the body of squash, cut body in half lengthwise, exposing seeds. Using a spoon or melon baller, scrape out seeds and any stringy bits. Slice each half into strips and then each strip into cubes.
Cubing the sweet potato: Wash and scrub sweet potato (keep skin on for fiber) and cut off both ends. Cut squash into planks, cut planks into strips and then each strip into cubes.
Chopping the red onion: Cut off both ends of the onion, then cut the onion in half, then quarters and then cut each quarter in half.
Melt coconut oil in a small oven-proof glass bowl either in the oven while it’s preheating, or in the microwave for 20 seconds.
In a large bowl, toss together the squash, sweet potato and red onion with the melted coconut oil and roughly 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt.
Tip: It’s always best to season the vegetables right before you bake them, as salt draws moisture out of food. Also, salt is a natural flavor enhancer, and brings out the natural flavor of the vegetables, so don’t be afraid to use it.
Lift the vegetables out of the bowl and place them onto the parchment paper.
Tip: Do not toss the vegetables and oil on the parchment paper as the paper will get wet and soggy.
Tip: It’s better to lift the vegetables out of the bowl rather than pouring them as it ensures any excess oil is left behind.
Space the vegetables on the baking sheet, don’t crowd them, (they’ll get mushy if you do) as space will allow any steam to escape and the hot air to circulate, and they’ll brown and crisp up a lot better, so use 2 baking sheets.
Because the perimeter (edges) of the pan is the hottest, place any of the larger pieces (like the red onion) around the the edges to help them cook evenly.
Roast in pre-heated oven until the vegetables are caramelized, browned and tender when pierced with a fork, about 18-25 min. Make sure to rotate the sheets from top to bottom (if using one oven) and tossing the vegetables at the halfway mark.
NOTE: Smaller sized vegetables (1/2-inch chop) will be finished closer to the 18-minute mark, and larger sized vegetables (1-inch chop) will take longer, roughly 20-25 min.
Storage: Store any leftover vegetables in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Like roasted veggies, then try my roasted red peppers! They’re so amazing and can be used in a variety of ways, on sandwiches, pureed for an easy pizza sauce and used in soups.