Crisp autumn days have us looking forward to soups, pot pies, roasts and casseroles. Pick from any number of fall ingredients to add flavor and color to your main dishes.
In August, I wrote about how to grill vegetables. However, fall is the perfect time of year to roast the harvest. Root vegetables and squash take to roasting and taste so much better for it.
Follow these simple steps to getting great tasting roasted vegetables:
- Pre-heat the oven to 425°F.
- Roast vegetables either whole or chopped. The larger the piece, the longer it will take to cook. Whole beets can take an hour or more, while asparagus will be cooked in about 10 minutes.
- Place the vegetables in an oven-safe pan.
- Drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil – just enough to very lightly coat the vegetables when tossed.
- To see if the vegetables are cooked, prick with the tip of a paring knife. The knife should pull out easily.
- Serve with a light sprinkle of sea salt, minced fresh herbs and chopped or whole toasted nuts, breadcrumbs or grated cheese.
You can also use roasted vegetables to create a new dish. Try this delicious pasta:
Pasta with Roasted Squash
For a vegetarian entree leave out the pancetta and use vegetable broth.
- 1 ½ pounds fall squash, such as butternut, delicata, acorn, etc, peeled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 ounces pancetta, about a 1 inch thick piece, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 ounces bucatini or spaghetti pasta
- 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup cream or half & half
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- Shaved Pecorino cheese and freshly ground black pepper (for serving)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and slice crosswise. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Toss with the oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange the squash and diced pancetta on a large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the minced garlic over the squash.
Roast until the squash is tender but hasn’t changed color and the pancetta is light brown, about 30–35 minutes.
Scrape the squash and pancetta into a large skillet. Add the chicken broth and lemon zest. Bring to a simmer. Slowly add the cream or half & half.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Add pasta to the skillet with the squash and mix gently. Add some of the pasta cooking water if the dish seems a bit dry.
Add salt and pepper, if needed, and pour the pasta into a large serving bowl.
Shave Pecorino cheese over the pasta and top with freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
Here is a handy list and more recipes using “What is in Season in September.”
What are your favorite roasted vegetables?