Each year, as summer winds down, I can’t help but look forward to the gorgeous colors of fall foliage. This dish reflects all of the beauty of fall on a plate.
While most of the vegetables are interchangeable in this dish (or more can be added) the star of the show is the beet. During roasting, the red juices infuse into the surrounding vegetables, creating a masterpiece of color nearly as impressive as the array of hues on the trees outside your window in the fall.
Most of these veggies are easy to obtain in pre-cut form at many grocery stores which is, naturally, a huge time saver. But, even if they’re not, the few minutes it takes to quickly cut them into chunks before popping them in the oven is well worth the effort.
With just a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper, some of the vegetables turn sweet and toothsome while others get a slight crunchy outer coating. These are a perfect side for any protein, from roasted chicken to slow-roasted beef, or just in a bowl all on their own for a calorie-light yet hearty vegetarian dinner or as an alternative to salad for lunch.
- 12 oz beets (about 3 beets)
- 10 oz butternut squash (about ¼-½ of one butternut squash)
- 8 oz sweet potatoes (1 large, or 2 smaller sized sweet potatoes)
- 8 oz russet potatoes (1 large, or 2 smaller sized russet potatoes)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Cooking spray
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
- Slice beets lengthwise into spheres (or dice into large chunks, if preferred)
- Dice butternut squash, sweet potatoes and russet potatoes into similar-sized large chunks.
- Spray pan with cooking spray.
- Combine all vegetables and spread across pan.
- Drizzle with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cover and roast for 45 minutes, turning only once.
- Be sure to minimize moving vegetables around during cooking time. The sweet potatoes and squash will become very tender and can easily lose their shape and become mushy if handled too often. Gently turn vegetables only once halfway through cooking time.
- To get a truly autumnal look to the dish, mix the vegetables before cooking so that their individual colors (particularly that of the beet) can infuse into the other vegetables.
- Feel free to add other vegetables like similar-sized chunks of onion, parsnips, and carrots to add to the array of colors, tastes, and textures.
- Beets are often the most time consuming portion of this dish to prepare due to the peeling process. Many grocery stores sell packaged versions that are already peeled - using these instead will save time.