Who can resist roasting all those wonderful autumn vegetables? The beets, squash, pumpkins, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas? Roasting these dense, earthy vegetables concentrates their sweet nature by drawing forth their sugars to brown the edges into a lovely caramel finish.
The thing is, I always overdo it and make far more than we can ever finish at one sitting. So we eat them throughout the week after I stir them into soups and stews, toss them into salads and scatter them on top of pizzas and open-face sandwiches. Now that we’re revving up for the holidays, it’s good to have a few easy recipes for simple dinners and last-minute guests. When I roast extra vegetables for a party, it’s nice to have them at the ready for a meal the next day so I don’t have to cook.
Here are some tips for the best way to roast autumn’s bounty, as well as ways to enjoy each last bit.
Tips for roasting vegetables:
• Preheat the oven and the roasting pan so that the vegetables hit a hot surface before they go into the oven. This expedites the process and helps make sure they’ll be evenly browned.
• Be sure the vegetables are cut approximately the same size so that they roast evenly and in the same amount of time.
• Spread them out on the pan so they don’t touch. This allows the air to circulate so that the edges crisp.
• Shake the pan halfway through roasting so the veggies don’t stick.
• Rotate the pan several times so that they cook evenly.
• Be sure they’re nicely browned.
Tips for using roasted vegetables:
• Toss with hot pasta, a little extra olive oil, sharp aged cheese.
• Arrange on dark greens and dress with maple mustard or honey mustard vinaigrette and a handful of toasted nuts.
• Stir into your favorite prepared soups or stews.
• Scatter over pizza or hot open-faced sandwiches.
• Best? Turn them into hash. Sometimes, we add a bit of ham, or turkey or (even better) bacon. These are terrific finished with fried or poached eggs. It takes but a minute to reheat the veggies in a heavy skillet so that they crisp up for an especially delicious casual dinner or special brunch.
Think of all those holiday festivities coming up, dream of all those leftovers, and think roasted vegetable hash.
Serves 8 to 10 (so plenty for leftover hash).
Note: From Beth Dooley.
• 1 small whole acorn squash, peeled, halved, seeded and diced into 1/2- in. pieces
• 2 medium carrots, diced into 1/2-in. pieces
• 3 small beets, peeled and diced into 1/2-in. pieces
• 1 large parsnip, peeled and diced into 1/2-in. pieces
• 2 small Yukon Gold potatoes, diced into 1/2-in. pieces
• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Preheat 2 rimmed baking pans until hot, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Toss the vegetables with the oil and salt, and scatter over the preheated baking sheets. Roast in the oven, shaking the pan occasionally and turning it once, until the vegetables are golden and begin to brown, about 45 to 60 minutes.
Serve hot. Save leftover roasted vegetables, once they’ve cooled, in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Roasted Root Vegetable Hash
Note: Use any combination of roasted vegetables and add a little cooked bacon or sprinkle with shredded cheese for a more substantial dish. From Beth Dooley.
• 1 tbsp. olive oil
• 2 to 3 c. mixed roasted vegetables
• 1 tsp. fresh thyme
• 1 tbsp. butter
• 4 eggs
Set a medium heavy skillet over medium heat and warm the oil. Add the vegetables and fresh thyme, and stir to heat through and crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes. Arrange on a serving platter or individual plates.
Set a separate skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and swirl it to coat the pan. Crack the eggs into the skillet, cover and cook until the yolk is just set, about 1 to 3 minutes. Remove the lid. Using a spatula, carefully transfer the eggs to the hash. Serve hot.
Beth Dooley is the author of “In Winter’s Kitchen.” Find her at bethdooleyskitchen.com.