Making food in big batches is something that I do regularly, being a busy working mom. In my family, we enjoy home cooked meals and we pack our lunches everyday too. At this time of the year, we have all these very colourful local produce: squash, pumpkins, beets, cauliflower, carrots and one of our recent favourites, red onions. I try to make them in many different ways and roasting is one of them. I first made this dish on Thanksgiving (check this photo) and it has then become a regular. I just mix and match different veggies to make it interesting. It also stores well, one of those leftovers that doesn't get boring after a few days. And so I've decided to share this post, specially for all moms out there.
The star vegetable here is delicata squash. It's the type with those distinctive dark green stripes on a yellow or cream background like shown in the photo. It has a yellow-orange flesh that's sweet. No peeling is necessary as the peel is also edible so prep time is shorter than those other varieties. It mixes so well with the other vegetables in this recipe as they all have different flavours that complement each other.
Balsamic Roasted Fall Vegetables & Sauteed Rapini
1 Small Delicata squash, approximately 6" long
1/2 of a medium size cauliflower
1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts
1 small red onion
2 -3 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. sulphite-free balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley leaves, chopped
3 Tbsp. lemon
Preheat the oven at 375F. Wash all the veggies. Cut the squash lengthwise (do not peel), remove seeds then cut them crosswise, about 1/4" thick slices. Cut the cauliflower into florets and the Brussels sprouts into halves. Peel and slice the onion into thin wedges. Lightly smash the garlic, the peels can be left so they don't burn. Prep the rest of the ingredients then transfer them into a large roasting pan. Add the oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper leaving the lemon juice for later. Toss then spread them out. You may have to use another pan if necessary. Roast for approximately 30-35 minutes until the edges of the veggies have browned stirring once or twice. Add the lemon juice when they're done. Adjust the taste. Maybe more balsamic vinegar or salt and pepper.
Sauteed Rapini or Other Greens
1 bundle rapini
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon
Sea salt to taste
Wash and cut the rapini into 3"long, removing the tough stems. On a pan at medium heat, cook the garlic in the olive oil for about two minutes or until lightly browned. Add the rapini, and cook just until wilted, about three minutes. Add the salt and lemon then remove from heat immediately. Transfer into a bowl.
Here are different ways to serve the dish:
a) Place them on a bed of quinoa or your choice of healthy grains.
2) The roasted veggies, minus the rapini is a great addition to a raw/warm salad with your favourite greens like arugula, baby kale or spinach.
3) As a great side dish.
4) They're delicious and hearty on their own.
Fall is such a beautiful season with so much colours around! There's this mini woods behind our home that I get to witness the changing leaves and foliage with so much awe and admiration to the Creator of all things. And my heart is bursting with gratitude. How lovely and magical is nature! I've been so fascinated with trees lately that I've been taking photos of them - more than I used to. Here are a few of them.
These beautiful trees in my neighbourhood had their leaves with the most intense colours last week. They're now slowly falling into the ground and soon they will be bare. I hope you too are enjoying October!