Monday, March 16, 2015

Roasted Beets, Butternut Squash and Fennel

Roasted Beets, Butternut Squash and Fennel 

I'm going to keep this post short. This is a recipe that I have made for eons. It includes two of my favorite fall and winter vegetables, beets and butternut squash (technically a fruit). It involves a bit of peeling, chopping and then roasting the veggies for about 45 minutes in the oven. The tannin in squash bothers my skin, so I wear dish gloves when peeling and seeding the butternut squash. These can be simply tossed over your salad, added to pizza, or served over quinoa and topped with crumbled goat cheese. Did you know that quinoa and beets are actually in the same family? No wonder they both provide such high sources of nutritional value. 

Beets are one of my favorite root vegetable. They liven anything up, with varieties ranging in color from vibrant reds and deep purples, to pink and white striped Chioggia Beets, and cheerful golden beets.  Their flavor is sweet and earthy, and they are entirely edible from the green to the root. Aside from their beauty, beets are a nutritional jackpot. Greens are full of folic acid, iron, calcium and vitamins A and C. The root, is full of phytonutrients, which act to detoxify the liver, aid in increased white blood cell production, and their antiflammatory properties, help suppress cancer cells. 


Preheat the oven to 375˚ 

A sheet pan works best for roasting. You can also roast the veggies in a glass cake pan, but you will need to increase the cooking time. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of a mixed variety of beets
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • juice of 1 citrus fruit (I used grapefruit)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2-4 tbl spoons of maple syrup
  • 4-6 tbl spoons EVOO
Step 1: Wash and peel the beets and squash. Cut them into 1/2 cubes. Wash the fennel bulb, and coarsely chop into larger chunks. Keep in mind, the beet juice will stain your fingers for a short time. 

Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and toss well, being sure to coat all the veggies. Dump veggies onto the sheet pan. If there is extra liquid I reserve it and pour over the veggies half way through roasting, so they will not dry out. 

Step 3: Put the veggies in the oven to roast. Toss with a spatula every 10 minutes or so, so that all sides cook evenly and to prevent burning. Roast for about 45 minutes. 

When the veggies are tender, remove from oven. See above for how I prefer to serve them.