Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Seasons Shmeasons! Or Maybe Not

I never paid much attention to cooking with food that is "in season". If I wanted corn in the middle of February, by golly I was going to have it! Pumpkin bread in May? Don't mind if I do! But now that I'm cooking more often and learning about food, I'm realizing how important seasonal ingredients are to both the taste and the quality of your dish.

There couldn't be a better time than fall to start paying more attention to what is in season. 'Tis the season for loads of good veggies! I made Caramelized Autumn Roasted Vegetables from Food & Wine for my Dining for Women dinner last night. I got a ton of compliments, which, let's face it, is the only reason any of us cook.

Makes 12 servings (Perfect for Thanksgiving!)
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 4 medium carrots (3/4 pound), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick on the bias
  • 2 large parsnips (1 pound), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick on the bias
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (2 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1 small butternut squash (2 pounds)—peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup


  • Preheat the oven to 425°. Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Let cool.
  • In a large bowl, toss the carrots, parsnips, cauliflower, squash and brussels sprouts with the olive oil and nutmeg and season generously with salt and black pepper.
  • Spread the vegetables on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for 30 minutes, until the vegetables begin to brown. Toss once or twice during the baking time.
  • Scatter the pecans and ginger over the vegetables and drizzle with the maple syrup; toss well. Continue to roast the vegetables for 25 minutes longer, until they are tender and golden.
  • Scrape the vegetables into a bowl and serve hot or at room temperature.

(Thank you Food and Wine!)

Warning: This dish is not as great reheated, but trust me it, it is so good you won't have leftovers

If you are an in season newbie like me, click here. It will help you find by state, by month what is in season.

Song of Day

Perfect song for today's post! Please enjoy The Byrds' Turn, Turn, Turn.

This Day in Positively

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