Vegetable Side Dishes

Spring-Is-Coming Roasted Vegetables

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15385518_1467211419973617_8502976072064608821_o (2)It’s April! I can feel spring just around the corner but summer vegetables are still a long time coming. Luckily our Annapolis Valley farmers store a huge variety of nutritious and versatile winter storage vegetables for us. A rainbow of local beets, carrots, red and green cabbages, parsnips, turnip, sweet potatoes, squash, potatoes and brussels sprouts can still be found at markets. Taproot Farm grows sweet little pea shoots, which are great in salads and even better fried up in a screaming hot pan with butter for just a few seconds. Ands as if that’s not enough there are salad greens appearing (buy them as soon as you see them, they sell out quickly this time of year!).

With a few good recipes there’s no need to succumb to tired imported asparagus. Here is a simple one that yields a far more delicious result than you can imagine for just a small amount of peeling and chopping. It’s just the thing when you don’t want to make a giant mess in your kitchen but still want to serve an array of vegetables. Pretty and delicious, the roasted vegetables can be made well in advance, then reheated in the oven just before serving time.

Spring-Is-Coming Roasted Vegetables serves 6-8

1 large Sweet Potato, peeled and cut in ¾” cubes
1 lb (454g) Parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut in 1” lengths
1 small Butternut Squash, peeled and cut in ¾” cubes
1 large Beet, peeled and cut in ½” cubes
1 large Onion, peeled and cut in ½” wedges
¼ cup Olive Oil plus 1 additional tablespoon Olive Oil if using Kale
2 teaspoons Salt
6 leaves Kale, torn into 1” pieces (optional but very pretty)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. On a cookie sheet, toss the sweet potato, parsnip, beet, squash and onion with the olive oil and salt. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice during the roasting time. Meanwhile, toss the kale with the tablespoon of olive oil. After 30 minutes, take the sheet of vegetables out of the oven and add the coated kale, stirring to incorporate it throughout. Place the vegetables back in the oven and roast for about 20-25 minutes more, tossing occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and browned.