Celebrating the Harvest
I love coming back to my parent’s house. No matter how long I spend away or what conditions I have been living in, I immediately fall back into the familiar comfort of my childhood surroundings. And not surprisingly, the kitchen is always the place where I feel that connection the most. It’s not unusually for me to be home for an entire day before I even make it into my old bedroom, spending the majority of the time around the stone island that is the heart of our house. I love knowing that no matter what, the knives and cutting boards and sesame seeds will always be in the same place, and I can always count on my mom to have a supply of almonds, lemons, and Swedish fish on hand.
And lets be honest… there are definitely some serious upgrades when you go from a small New York City apartment kitchen to the bright, double kitchen of the suburbs. The space is bigger, the counters are cleaner, and the toolbox is large. As it also happens, my moms food budget is a little larger than mine, basically making 209 N. Latches Lane my cooking paradise. In addition the 5 grocery stores within a 3-mile radius, my mom also belongs Delaware Valley Farm Share, a local CSA. A CSA, or community support agriculture, means that for a seasonal membership fee my mom gets a box of farm fresh produce delivered biweekly, a mix of fruits and vegetables picked by the farmer especially for the members. It’s not only a great way to support local farmers and eat amazing produce, but it also has the added bonus to forcing you to try new products that you would never buy but found themselves into your box.
So Wednesday night as my Mom and I were getting some Thanksgiving prep work out of the way, we realized that we had no dinner plan for the evening! We needed something easy that did not require a lot of work and also something that did not interfere with our Thanksgiving dinner needs. Surveying the fridge, it just so happened the wonderful bounty we had received from the CSA was full of vegetables that were easy to prepare and would not be needed for the main show the next day. Taking a cue from the produce drawer, combine with a recipe in the most recent Southern Living Magazine, we came up with this unbelievably flavorful and easy dinner. Except for the carrots, everything in our Roasted Winter Vegetable Mix came from the CSA or our own backyard, making it the perfect way to honor the harvest. The sweet butternut squash and carrots were perfectly offset by the slightly tart cranberries and turnips, and the drizzle of molasses rounded out the mix perfectly. This recipe can easily be adapted to whatever vegetables you have on hand, and maple syrup or agave would probably do just fine.
CSA Roasted Winter Vegetable Mix
1 butternut squash; peeled, seeded, and cubed
3 turnips; peeled and cubed
½ lb Brussels sprouts; halved
3 large carrots; peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red onion; thickly sliced
1 tbsp rosemary, finely minced
1-cup fresh cranberries
2 tbsp dark molasses
Preheat oven to 400.
In a mixing bowl, combine Brussels sprouts and butternut squash with a drizzle of olive oli, half the rosemary, salt and pepper. Spread onto a foil lined baking sheet.
Using the same bowl (ah the miracle of one bowl meals), combine carrots, red onion, and turnips. Again drizzle with olive oil, the other half of rosemary, salt and pepper. Spread onto a second foil lined baking sheet.
Put the baking sheet with the carrots and turnips in the oven. Roast for 10 minutes, and then add the second baking sheet with the butternut squash into the oven. Roast everything for another 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. About 5 minutes before all the vegetables are done, add the cranberries and continue to roast until the berries just begin to pop, should be about 5 minutes.
Remove both trays from the oven and combine all the vegetables in a bowl. Drizzle with molasses and enjoy with a nice glass of red wine.