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Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Vegetables

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Serves 8 to 10.
By Dennis W. Viau; one of my original recipes.

Here’s the thing with roasted vegetables: When you go through all the work of preparing a fancy roast for Sunday or a special occasion, it helps to have something easy to prepare as a side dish. These vegetables are so good, they could stand on their own as a main course. I like to prepare them as a side dish because the oven will be hot anyway; so why not toss in some vegetables and use the same heat? My guests always praise them. They go with many roast meats.

Ingredients:

Half a butternut squash or a whole small one
1 yam or sweet potato
1 large carrot
1 potato, such as Russet, or several small “new” potatoes
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon dry oregano flakes
¼ teaspoon dry basil flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil for frying
1 medium onion; chopped
6 button mushrooms or some of the more expensive “gourmet” mushrooms

Directions:

First off: There is plenty of room for flexibility here. You can mix different kinds of squash, but avoid those with lots of water in them, such as zucchini or eggplant. You can use different herbs you might like—this is a good time to use up some of those spices that have been in the cupboard for many months (or years).

Peel the squash (carefully—it has a very hard skin). Cut the squash, yam, carrot, and potato into chunks that measure about 1 inch (2.5 cm). Arrange in a 9x13–inch (23x33 cm) baking dish. Coat with the oil and herbs, salt, and pepper, turning with your hands to cover all the pieces evenly.

Heat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Roast uncovered for about an hour, until the denser pieces are tender when pierced with a fork, and there is a little browning on some surfaces.

While the vegetables are roasting, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the chopped onions until lightly caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes, reducing the heat toward the end of the cooking if the onions start to brown too much. Remove from the pan. Sauté the chopped mushrooms, adding oil or butter as desired, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.

When the roasted vegetables are ready to serve, place in a large serving dish and top with caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms.