02/21/11

Cozy and Warm Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

The return of the -30° C weather has me roasting up the storm. Our drafty 102 year old house warms considerably when the oven is on for long periods, so I have been all too happy to roast often. Food that warms the home as well as the tummy is the theme of this winter. I did my first solo roast (feeling quite grown up about that) and roasted a chicken as well, but what I’m here to talk about is balsamic roasted vegetables. Because really, what could be better?

The roasted vegetables release all kinds of sugars that brown and are so luscious, the balsamic vinegar reduces away into syrup and absorbs into the aforementioned vegetables. Thyme lends woodsiness to the earthy vegetables, and black pepper some notes of pungency to round it all out.

It’s a side dish that takes center stage (and keeps the kitchen warm while I do dishes). If I were a vegetable, I’d like to spend some time getting cozy with balsamic vinegar in a nice warm oven.

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients

1/2 a butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and roughly chopped

1-2 red bell peppers, seeds removed and roughly chopped

1 small onion, also roughly chopped

12-15 baby carrots (2-3 regular sized) cut into ~2 inch long sticks

2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

2 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

1/2 tsp thyme leaves

1/2 tsp salt

Directions
  • Put all of the vegetables together in a bowl.
  • Pour over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, tossing to coat.
  • Sprinkle on the pepper, thyme and salt, tossing to distribute evenly.
  • Pour the contents of the bowl into a glass or nonreactive metal roasting dish, and pop it into a 375° F oven until all of the vegetables are cooked through (~45 minutes, depending on how roughly you chop), the squash will take the longest to cook, so use it to check for doneness.
  • Serve hot from the oven.

Next time I’m thinking I’ll include a clove of garlic or two to roast with it, or maybe some mushrooms. We’ve addressed balsamic vinegar before on The Funky Kitchen, so if you are a balsamophile like myself, be sure to check out: balsamic vinaigrette, summer tomatoes, caramelized onion marmalade, or this super cool pavlova!

Mister says that he liked the way the acid counterpointed the caramelized sweetness of the vegetables and that there should have been more red pepper because they were the best part.

…And! Happy day! Photo quality will be returning to The Funky Kitchen as soon as I get through my backlog of pictures and recipes. Somehow my camera battery charger became a casualty of the move, but the new one off of ebay got here today! Hurray for no more phone pictures!

05/12/10

Roasted Butternut Squash Reigns Supreme

The house that I grew up in was not a squash eating house. I tasted squash for the first time less than a year ago. I don’t know if the lack of squash in my diet had to do with geography, the people in my house not eating squash, or a case of simple coincidence. All I can say is, when my friend made it and our group of three sat down on the couch and ate it straight off the shiny tin foil, I met a food I was sad to have missed all of these years.

I know that at least a fair number of you out there eat squash, or at least have in the past. And I know that because of this, such a simple preparation is probably something you already have in your repertoire. Still, here I am, because it is good for the soul to take a few things, combine them simply in the correct way and receive something great. Not great in the grandiose or large way, but great in the outstanding and exceptional way.

Keeping it simple is not always easy, but it tends to yeild good results.

In the spirit of the ease of preparing this roasted squash, I’ve got everything I did step by step:

Roasted Butternut Squash

(a la mode de Matt)
  • Cut your squash in half, lengthwise.

  • Scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon.

  • Score the squash halves in a cross hatch pattern.

  • Spread some butter (~ a tablespoon) on the squash, and then dust with brown sugar. Place your prepared squash on a baking sheet lined with foil.

Mister, a brown sugar fanatic,
suggests using more brown sugar than I did, but use it to your own taste.
  • Roast in a 400° F oven until fork tender (~45 minutes, but it will vary depending on the size of your squash), basting with the butter and melted sugar every ten minutes or so.

  • Devour! What an awesome vegetable!