Once the chill is in the air I turn inwards, with the oven on full tilt and I begin work on a multitude of indoor projects. This fall, I am in the middle of a move from Pennsylvania back to my house in the Hudson Valley so I have more indoor projects to complete than ever.
Creating some quick dishes to fuel one or two (the poor person who offers some help) is a bit of a concern. What I can make a lot of, that I can repurpose during the week for dinner or lunch, is key. Usually this decision is predicated upon what I already have on hand or bought too much of at the market.
I usually have a bunch of sturdy veggies in my fridge, such as parsnips, carrots and peppers, and in my pantry, some onions with a squash or two lurking about at this time of the year…so a sheet pan full of roasted vegetables sounds like a plan. I know I can use the leftovers many different ways (see ideas below).
The mix of veg in this recipe is delicious and colorful (very autumnal) – a contrast in flavors between earthy, sweet and herbal. Some rules of roasting to keep in mind:
- Do not overcrowd the pan.
- Do cut the vegetables around the same size (so they finish cooking about the same time).
- Do not use too much oil; you are roasting not frying.
- Resist turning frequently and turn only after the vegetable releases itself easily from the pan.
- Season at the beginning and at the end as the vegetables caramelize and become sweeter once cooked.
2 assorted bell peppers, cut into 1-1/2 -inch pieces
1 cup cubed (1 inch pieces) butternut squash
3 parsnips, cut into 1-1/2 -inch pieces
1 red onion, cut into wedges with stem end still intact
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper, with more to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, thyme or sage
1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, optional
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Place vegetables in a shallow roasting pan and toss with oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Roast in middle of oven, until tender (adding fresh herbs during last 5 minutes), for 35 to 45 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar while hot and re-season, if desired.
- Serve alongside cooked chicken, steak or fish.
Add leftover roasted vegetables to:
- Cooked pasta and toss together with Parmesan cheese
- Stews and soups for extra flavor
- Macaroni and cheese
- Sandwich between bread and cook in a panini press with some Swiss, Manchego or goat cheese.
- Layer between lasagna noodles for a veggie lasagna
- Add to eggs for an omelet or to the filling of a quiche or a frittata
- Top pizza dough and sprinkle with goat cheese, mozzarella, ricotta or Parmesan.
- Top a baked potato, along with chili, sour cream and chives
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