Chow Town

Fall is season to roast root vegetables

Updated: 2013-10-24T02:42:26Z

By RENEE KELLY

The air is brisk and the leaves are just starting to rustle in the breeze. It’s warm and cozy time: Welcome to fall!

Not only do we drag out the blankets and think about turning on the heater, our food becomes a bit heavier. Intuitively we seek heavier foods when the air turns cool.

The dense root vegetables provide us so much nutrition during fall. We must honor these brilliant veggies with a more thought out approach of cooking. Grilling and sautéing seem superficial for root vegetables. They need more time to be awesome. It took them a while to grow, so there should be no rush in preparation.

We switch from a fast grill or sauté to a slower baking, braising and roasting. This type of cookery brings out the rich deep flavors of the dense veggies of fall. They seem to reach a complexity when allowed to cook longer. They become more concentrated in flavor.

This slower cooking method warms the home with nuances of thanksgiving around the corner. Turning on the oven makes the kitchen truly the center, the pulse, the hearth of the home.

Roasted veggies are an easy treat for the family. Enjoy this cozy time.

Roasted Fall Vegetables

Makes 4 servings

1 pound pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded and large dice

1-1/2 cups cauliflower

2 each carrots, peeled and medium rough chop

1 each parsnip, peeled and sliced

1 each red onion, sliced

Olive oil

Sea salt and pepper

2 each large beets, peeled and medium rough chop

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 F. Toss the pumpkin, cauliflower, carrots, parsnip and onions with the about 1 tablespoon olive oil, sea salt and pepper, roast in pan until soft. Toss the beets separately in olive oil, maple syrup, sea salt and pepper and place on a separate baking pan, roast until soft, about 30 minutes.

Tip: Cut all the veggies roughly the same size according to their density. For example, carrots and parsnips are about the same toughness, so cut them the same size. The pumpkin is a little softer, so cut it a bit larger.

Renee Kelly is the owner of Renee Kelly’s Harvest in Johnson County. Her passion lies in changing the food system, one plate at a time. Her inspiration is Mother nature and the many growers in the Kansas City area.

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