Fall is a double-faced trickster of a season — it’s days alternating between cozy autumnal delight, framed by leaves colored like the warmest sunset, and frigid, windswept dreariness, with night shadows arriving earlier and earlier. Between summer falling into winter’s embrace, autumn can feel like an uncertain purgatory, especially as your days devolve into midterm madness.
For me, however, fall holds one saving grace: lovely, warm, comforting fall vegetables. Paired with warm spices and caramelized straight from the oven, a good roasted fall harvest warms your heart and wards off whatever woes the season may carry.
Best of all, roasted vegetables are incredibly easy, hearty meals that require little active cooking. The general process of roasting vegetables stays the same regardless of what vegetables you cook, apart from differing cooking times.
Basic Roasting Recipe:
- Take your chosen washed medley of fall vegetables and cut them into even sizes. The exact shapes/dimensions depend on preference, but they should be roughly the same, so they will cook evenly.
- Toss chopped vegetables in an oil of choice (canola and avocado oil handle high heat the best) salt, pepper and spice or herbs depending on the vegetable. Generally, warm spices, like cumin, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, or curry powder will pair well with creamier, nuttier and heartier vegetables like large squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cauliflower and almost any root vegetable. Greener, watery and fibrous vegetables, like zucchini, brussel sprouts, celery and green beans, generally lend themselves to herb-based seasoning.
- Evenly spread the vegetables on a baking sheet, place in a high-heated oven, about 400-450℉ and leave to roast! Check and turn the vegetables every 15-20 minutes, pulling them out once soft on the inside and slightly charred on the outside.
- Serve with a carb of choice, be it toast, flatbread, rice, pasta or whatever your heart desires. Enjoy!
Fall offers a true bounty of different produce, so the options for roasting are limitless – and so are the possible flavor pairings! Here are some of my favorite vegetable flavor pairings to kickstart your fall feasts!
To be frank, you could probably add honey to any vegetable and they will transform into a delicious caramelized delight. However, carrots and honey pair perfectly together, and if you’ve got a spice tooth as well as a sweet tooth, I highly recommend adding some chili flakes to create a spicy, saccharine dinner.
Paprika sweet potatoes:
Thinly sliced and coated in a generous dose of paprika, chili powder, salt, pepper and oil, your sweet potatoes will emerge from the oven crispy and spicy!
A classic creamy concoction, season then roast your cauliflower until tender (but not mushy) before topping with cheese (I recommend Parmesan, Gruyere or any other harder cheese) and broil until your cheese is bubbling.
A truly green masterpiece, slice your zucchini or squash thinly (or into a diagonal log if you wish to eat whole), before seasoning with salt, pepper and garlic. Let roast for 5-10 minutes before coating with pesto (I recommend kale pesto!), parmesan and optionally, panko breadcrumb and put under the broiler to grill.
Roasted tomatoes are their own slice of heaven for us tomato lovers! I recommend roasting on a high heat, separate from other vegetables until the tomatoes’ skins blister. I often season with Italian-esque herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc.) and some chilies.
Autumnal vegetables lend themselves to an endless cornucopia of delectable roasted feasts, all while barely lifting a finger! This autumn, soothe your soul and nourish your body with the effortless seasonal delight of roasted vegetables. Go forth and roast!