Every time I walked through my dining room, I saw this Butternut Squash staring at me. This poor baby has been sitting there for a while, looking gloomy, lonely, untouched and forgotten. The truth is, I did forget about this baby. I had bought this Butternut Squash before the Thanksgiving Holiday. I had bought it because I saw a Butternut Squash soup recipe, and had planned on making it. The key word here is “planned”. So, of course you would assume that the soup making did not happen. You are right. The soup making went right out of the window and as a result, the Butternut Squash was just sitting there.
During the Thanksgiving Holiday I tried to make the Butternut Squash as a lone centerpiece on the dining table. After all, Butternut Squash is a fall vegetable right? It really looked sad, so I moved it and hid it away. Then December came and went, and the Butternut Squash was still sitting there on the dining table. Why the dining table? Don’t we eat there? No, we usually eat at the breakfast table, so the dining table has just become a sort of a temporary permanent storage space for me. Then came January. Then I started to get worried about the Butternut Squash. Will it rot? Will it dry out like those pumpkins sitting in front of your door as a Halloween decoration? I knocked on the Butternut Squash to see if it started sounding different, or even lifting it and weighing it in my hand. A dried squash will be light and sound hollow. That’s what I know. The Butternut Squash did not sound hollow, but it started to feel light. I don’t know how I know it felt lighter.. I just did.
So all this worrying and moping around over the Butternut Squash, finally there was a divine inspiration. The other night, we were having pork chops for dinner, and I thought, well, maybe we could have Roasted Vegetables for a side dish. I had the Butternut Squash, then I had a couple of sweet potatoes sitting on the dining table too. I did a quick search online and found this recipe from Allrecipes.com by Saundra. I had most of the stuff, and I thought this recipe is really simple. Plus, with all those 4.5 stars ratings from 818 people, you can’t go wrong with this recipe. I didn’t have time to read all of the reviews, so I just jumped the gun and prayed for the best.
I dug up all the veggies I got and thought about just adding whatever I have in the refrigerator. Butternut squash, sweet potato, baby carrots, red onion, zucchini, yellow squash, mini peppers and garlic. I decided that I want to experiment with the garlic, so I threw it onto the countertop too. Then I pulled out the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried thyme and dried rosemary, since I don’t have those fresh herbs laying around in my kitchen. Salt, black and white pepper. At the last minute though, I decided to use the Hickory smoked flavored sea salt rather than the Cherry Pecan flavored one.
First order of the business was opening up the Butternut Squash. A large cleaver was needed to do the job. We are talking about serious business here.
When you open up a Butternut Squash, the inside looks like this. I just wiki Butternut Squash, and I was surprised that Butternut Squash is a fruit!! Not a vegetable! What about that? Do you know that Butternut Squash is a fruit? It is considered as a fruit since it has seeds in them. So… that messed up my worldly world here! And what do you think about this sentence from Wikipedia, “Many fruits that, in a botanical sense, are true fruits are actually treated as vegetables in cooking and food preparation, because they are not particularly sweet.” Interesting isn’t it? Oh, because of this matter, I decided to change the title post from Roasted Vegetables into Roasted Fruits and Vegetables. It is more intriguing that way. 🙂
So I cleaned up the seeds out of the Butternut Squash using my melon baller. I didn’t save the seeds since there were very few of them, and it wouldn’t be worth it for me to roast them.
I skinned the squash and cut it up into about less than an inch cube, and put the pieces into a mixing bowl. I only used half of the Butternut Squash since I didn’t want to overwhelm this dish with Butternut Squash. I just wrapped the other half of the Butternut Squash in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for later use (hopefully).
Then I got the Sweet Potato, which is a tuberous root…this tuberous thingy is considered a root vegetable. I just sliced it up and then peeled the skin away.
Then after I finished slicing the whole root, I just dumped them into the mixing bowl as well.
Then I also dumped in a handful of carrots in there…. Carrot is a root vegetable too…. Hmm.. I’m learning all my roots, fruits and veggies in this post!
Then I dumped in the mini peppers – they’re fruit since they bear seeds.
Then I quartered the red onions and dumped them in the mixing bowl as well. Now, I think Onion is just considered a bulb, as vegetables, not root. Can someone back me up out there or enlighten me?
Sliced the zucchini – fruit, and dumped them into the bowl… By the way.. does anyone know why the spelling of zucchini is with double Cs instead of double Ns? I kept having to backspace and corrected myself!
Yellow squash – fruit, and let them join the rest of the mix…
Then I sprinkled dried thyme….
Salted and peppered it…
Drizzled olive oil… I didn’t use the measurement from the recipe, I just kinda eyeballed it…
Splashed some balsamic vinegar…
Tossed the bowl so everything in there was coated with the oil and vinegar and the spices.
Then, as an experiment, I lopped off the top of the garlic bulb.
Then instead of soaking the garlic with the olive oil, I just poured the olive oil on the cut part of the garlic, letting the oil soaked inside the garlic that way.
Then I dumped the mix of fruits, veggies and roots onto a big cooking sheet, and put the garlic in the middle. My intent of putting the garlic in the middle was just to give the veggies and fruits some garlic aroma… but that didn’t quite happen the way I wanted it. I baked them at 475F for about 30 – 40 minutes, stirring once awhile every ten minutes. When you’re dealing with a super hot oven, be very careful. As I stirred the veggies and fruits… I could feel the heat and the heat actually singed the tip of my left ear! So, just either pull out the rack further out of the oven or just take the tray out and close the oven door and do what you have to do, so there won’t be any mishap.
I scooped all of the fruits, veggies and tuburs into a casserole dish… and ….
Scooped a generous heaping full onto my plate… and they were super delicious! It was so good that I forgot to take a picture of them on my fork! Every time I pierced a piece of the vegetables, they went directly into my mouth, no stopping, no pausing. They burst with flavor, each veggie, root, or fruit contributed its flavor and it was just an amazing dish. The garlic aroma did not really linger on the veggies, which I had expected. I would have to separate the garlic into cloves and roast them separately if I want the garlic flavor to mingle in the fruits, veggies and roots. So, you really have to try this, I promise you won’t regret it! It was super easy and super delish and it was still good the next day as leftovers too! What more can you want?
Print recipe here.
Roasted Fruits and Vegetables
Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com
1 small butternut squash, cubed
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
3 Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
1 red onion, quartered
1 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
A handful of baby carrots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
In a large bowl, combine the squash, red bell peppers, carrots, sweet potato, and Yukon Gold potatoes. Separate the red onion quarters into pieces, and add them to the mixture.
Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar into the bowl. Add thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Toss with vegetables until they are coated. Spread evenly on a large roasting pan.
Roast for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring every 10 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through and browned.