Stir Crazy: Bring out the flavor in vegetables with roasting

News-DemocratNovember 11, 2013 

You've got to try roasting vegetables if you already haven't discovered what great flavor comes from this simple oven procedure.

It's the perfect time of year to turn on the oven or broiler and get some amazing flavors out of sweet potatoes, squash, and really, just about any firm veggie.

Both recipes are from Better Homes & Gardens. This first is a cold salad for a big crowd; it feeds eight. So, feel free to halve it, though I'd keep the raisins and cranberries the same amount.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Salad

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (6 cups)

2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (6 cups)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 bunches green onions, sliced (about 1 cup)

1 cup snipped fresh parsley

1 cup pecan halves, toasted

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup dried cranberries


1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread sweet potatoes and butternut squash in a single layer in two 15-by-10-by-inch baking pans. Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons olive oil; toss to coat. Roast, uncovered, about 30 minutes or just until vegetables are tender. Let cool.

2. In a large serving bowl combine sweet potatoes, squash, green onions, parsley, pecans, raisins and cranberries. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours, or up to 24 hours.

3. For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine the ingredients, cover and shake well to combine. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings, each with 359 calories, 20 grams fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 7 grams fiber, 16 grams sugar, 4 grams protein 203 mg sodium.

This recipe couldn't be much simpler. If you want, switch out the nuts; I think chopped pecans or walnuts would work as well as almonds. And, if you don't have the big crunchy Panko bread crumbs, regular ones will do.

Parmesan-Roasted Cauliflower

6 cups cauliflower florets

1 tablespoon olive oil



1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup butter

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2/3 cup slivered almonds, chopped

2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place cauliflower in a 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast 20 minutes.

Toss and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake 5 minutes more.

Meanwhile in a medium skillet, melt butter. Add garlic; cook 20 seconds. Add almonds and panko and stir to coat with butter. Cook over medium-low to medium heat until golden. Transfer cauliflower to a serving dish and top with the almond mixture.

Makes 8 servings, each with 175 calories, 14 grams fat, 19 mg cholesterol, 9 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar, 319 mg sodium.

Here's how to reach me: Phone, 239-2664; e-mail,; or write, Suzanne Boyle, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427.

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