Each fall as the weather gets colder and I start to pile on the sweaters I invariably turn to the recipes that take longer to cook and will send delicious aromas throughout the house: recipes that warm the home and steam up the windows. I find myself searching for the cozy, full-bodied flavors of sage, rosemary, red wine, mushrooms, pecans, pumpkins and squash. Harvest time is so full of the great bounty of the garden’s summer work.
This year we had a happy garden accident that came in the shape of a hybrid squash. I’ve been roasting it, putting it into breads and making it into soups. It’s so versatile – a cross between a summer squash and a pumpkin – called a “Squmpkin” in our house. We’ll save the seeds and hope they will actually grow another crop.
Roasting has become popular over the past several years and it’s one of my favorite ways to cook root vegetables. In addition to the squashes listed above, you could use this same method for parsnips, carrots, beets, onions, salsify and celeriac. Roasting is an excellent way to add flavor to almost any dish and it’s especially nice for this time of year. You want whatever it is you are roasting to be big enough to have time in the oven as the beauty of roasting is the flavors and the caramelization of sugar that develops over time. A low-sided pan is best so that the moisture from the squash can escape. If you use a higher sided pan, it will cause the squash to steam more than roast – not what we are after here.
Cosy in my sweater