The harvest produce in the Indiana markets has us in the mood for autumn cooking, even if the weather hasn’t quite caught up yet (though it’s starting to)! One of our favorite ways to prepare vegetables in the fall and winter months is roasting, which brings out a unique and delicious flavor from vegetables – sometimes surprisingly different from their taste raw or sauteed!
If you’re looking for a lovely, comforting aroma to fill your house, look no further than roasted vegetables! We were salivating while this dish was in the oven. While I must admit it takes a bit of time to chop all the vegetables (and generates quite a pile of peelings for your compost!), it’s all worth the effort when you smell the roasting in action – as well as when you taste it!
The basic idea for the recipe is to oven-roast vegetables with some seasonings, and then combine them with a grain. (We also added chickpeas to make it a more complete meal.) Our recipe uses a combination of butternut squash, fingerling potatoes, red onions, and cauliflower (which didn’t happen to be at the market, but seemed tasty!), as well as fresh rosemary from our garden. However, the idea has great potential for creativity, so use whatever vegetables are seasonal or your favorites!
You can substitute any grain for the quinoa, like rice, farro, barley, or bulgur (my current personal favorite). We served the dish as a main dish salad, but it would also work well as a side. Give it a try, and enjoy the roasted aroma!
- 1 pound butternut squash
- 1 pound fingerling and/or red potatoes
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 2 medium red onions
- 10 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary (chopped)
- 4½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 2 cups quinoa
- 15 ounce-can chickpeas (1½ cups cooked)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Fresh ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Peel the butternut squash, then scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Chop the squash, cauliflower, and potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Slice the red onions. Smash the garlic cloves; cut larger cloves in half. Chop the rosemary.
- In a large bowl, mix the vegetables and rosemary with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spread the veggies evenly between the two trays. Place the trays in the oven and roast 45 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables are tender. Let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, place 2 cups quinoa in a saucepan with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pot, and simmer where the water is just bubbling for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed. (Check by pulling back the quinoa with a fork to see if water remains.) Turn off the heat and let sit covered to steam for about 5 minutes. Cover and leave warm in the pan until serving.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In a large bowl, combine the vegetables with the cooked quinoa and chickpeas. Stir in 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1½ tablespoons olive oil, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Serve warm.