Its FALL Y’ALL! Do you know what that means? Fresh produce!
If the above statement has you a bit confused, you are not alone. Often there is the misconception that spring and summer is the time for garden fresh fruits and vegetables and that autumn is the time for … well … pumpkins. While this is of course true, there is so much more available and in abundance at this time of year!
Many vegetables prefer cooler temperatures and you will often see the local markets flooded with many of your early spring items. Radishes, different varieties of lettuce, and some beans prefer the less extreme temperatures and are often given a second planting once the blistering heat of summer has passed. Take advantage of this and enjoy them while you can! Farmers markets are still bursting this time of year — especially here in the mild weather of the South Carolina Midlands. You can easily keep your taste buds busy with what is in season and available right now!
This recipe is full of everything you can find at your local farm stand. I happened to get mine at the Soda City Market. It is meatless, but that is only because there is no room for it! Crammed full of vitamins and minerals, the flavor, color and variety of textures will knock you over. You know … in a good way. In addition, there are about 1 bazillion different ways to use this recipe for a meal. In the interest of time, I will feature two possible meal options to get you started, but be sure to expand your horizons and experiment a bit. This recipe is also fantastic as a side dish during the holidays!
Roasted Vegetable Medley
Feel free to use, parsnips, any kind of potato, carrots, are whatever root vegetable strikes your fancy!
1/2 large butternut squash, or 1 small, peeled, seeded, and cubed
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, chunked
4-6 small beets (or 2-3 large ones), trimmed, peeled and cubed
2 large baking potatoes or 6-8 small red potatoes, washed and cubed
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss all the vegetables together on a large sheet pan, drizzle generously with oil, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, and toss with your hands to mix well. Spread the veggies out in a single layer and roast until the largest pieces of vegetables are soft. Squash should be very soft and beets should be a bit firm in the middle just like a carrot. This will take about 20 minutes, depending on how big your bite sized cubes are. This is a great side dish for just about anything. But if you are looking for more variety and possible meal options….
For Roasted Fall Veggie Pasta:
Cook 1 lb of short pasta (penne, penne rigatti, rotini, bow tie, etc) according to package directions. When it is finished, toss pasta with the whole pan of roasted veggies, drizzle with a bit more olive oil, and add 1/2 c of grated parmesan. Toss and more parmesan or salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
For Roasted Fall Veggie Salad:
Scoop the roasted veggies, still warm, directly onto a bed of dark greens. Drizzle with a light vinaigrette, such as a honey lemon, and enjoy! For added protein, add cubed chicken to the salad as well!