Wednesday, November 4, 2009

good food, friends, and conversation

Last Friday we celebrated one of the last beautiful fall days by having friends over for a cookout. It was the absolute perfect weather - 70 degrees or so with a warm breeze, perfect for sitting on the porch and enjoying each other's company. One last chance to be outside and enjoy the weather before winter hibernation takes effect. We enjoyed chicken sausages and salad and bread and roasted fall vegetables and warm bourbon braised applesauce (homemade by my friend Ashley!) with vanilla icecream and leftover ginger snaps for dessert.

Oven Roasted Fall Vegetables

2 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into quarters
3 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut lengthwise into 1/2-in.-thick slices
3 medium turnips (1 1/2 lbs.), peeled and cut into eighths
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3-in. lengths (cut thickest pieces in half lengthwise)
3 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 3-in. lengths (cut thickest pieces into halves or quarters lengthwise)
1 butternut squashes, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 3- by 1-in. pieces
10 to 20 garlic cloves, loose papery outer skins removed, inner skins left on
2 medium orange sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3- by 1-in. pieces
About 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
7 sprigs rosemary (3 in. each)

Preheat oven to 450°. Put all vegetables (including garlic) except sweet potatoes into a very large bowl (or two large ones); put sweet potatoes in a separate bowl. Drizzle bowls generously with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss gently with your hands to coat; then spread half of mixed vegetables on two large baking sheets. Break up 3 rosemary sprigs and sprinkle over vegetables.

Roast vegetables 15 minutes. Stir gently with a metal spatula if they are sticking. Add half of the sweet potatoes to pans. Continue roasting, stirring vegetables every 15 minutes if necessary and changing positions of pans to ensure even browning, until vegetables are browned and tender, 40 minutes to 1 1/4 hours. Remove from oven and set aside. Repeat with remaining half of mixed vegetables, sweet potatoes, and 2 1/2 rosemary sprigs.

Pour vegetables onto a serving platter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with remaining sprig of rosemary and serve warm or at room temperature.

recipe adapted from

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