Tag Archives: roasted vegetables

How to Roast Pumpkins and Winter Squash

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Winter squash is a wonderfully versatile vegetable, but can be intimidating if you are unfamiliar with cooking it.

To use winter squash in recipes, roasting is a great way to get tender squash with deep flavor without the excess water that comes from boiling.

A few of the varieties of winter squash that you can choose from (pictured):

  • pumpkins (smaller will be less stringy)
  • butternut squash
  • acorn squash
  • delicata squash

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  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Wash the outside of the squash to remove any dirt. Dry.

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  • Cut squash in half using a large sharp knife. If your butternut squash is really large, or you do not have a large knife, you can cut the butternut squash in half crosswise first (right at the point where the neck begins) and then in half lengthwise. The narrower neck of a butternut squash does not have any seeds, just the rounder base.
  • Remove seeds and stringy pulp from inside the squash. Save those seeds for roasting! They are the best part of the squash (Yes-you can roast squash seeds too, not just pumpkin seeds).

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  • Place squash cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush inside of squash halves with olive oil.

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  • Turn squash over, cut side down, on the baking sheet.

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  • Bake at 425°F for about 30 minutes, depending on the size of your squash or pumpkin. Check softness by turning squash over and piercing with a fork. The squash flesh should be soft, but not mushy.

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  • Cool 10-15 minutes, until cool enough to handle. Scoop flesh out of shell. Puree or dice for use in recipes. Squash is easily frozen in Ziploc freezer bags. Freeze in 1 cup portions (be sure to label your bags with how much of what kind of squash you put in them).

Recipes using roasted squash/pumpkins:

Squash Equivalents:

  • 1 pound peeled squash = 1 cup cooked, pureed
  • 2-1/2 pounds whole squash = about 2-3/4 to 3 cups pureed
  • 1 large (15 to 20 pounds) pumpkin = about 5 quarts (20 cups) of cooked, pureed pumpkin
  • 1 large butternut squash or 1 medium sugar/pie pumpkin = about 2-3 cups pureed
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Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

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Surprisingly, cauliflower is one vegetable that everyone in our house loves doesn’t complain about when it shows up on the table. We especially enjoy this roasted cauliflower, flavored with garlic and a little lemon and garnished with toasted pine nuts and chopped fresh parsley.

RECIPE:

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

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¼ cup pine nuts
1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs melted butter
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
½ Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spread pine nuts in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 3-5 minutes, or until toasted (watch carefully-pine nuts burn quickly). Remove pine nuts from baking sheet and set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 475°F. In a Ziploc bag or bowl, combine cauliflower florets, garlic slices, olive oil and butter. Toss until well coated. Spread cauliflower onto baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast at 475°F for 20 minutes, or until tender. Toss cooked cauliflower with parsley, lemon juice and  reserved pine nuts. Taste and add additional salt, if desired.

 

Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa

 

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Pesto Stuffed Flank Steak with Garlic Roasted Broccoli

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If you are not going with the traditional baked ham for Easter, this makes a great alternative. We had this for Brian’s birthday a couple of weeks ago, and it was a big hit!

It is easy to prepare, and only uses two ingredients: a flank steak and prepared pesto. I used this Basil Pesto that has been hanging out in my freezer since the end of last summer. Still tastes great! You could use any prepared pesto; next time I would like to try a sun-dried tomato pesto in this.

The only tricky part of this recipe is butterflying the flank steak, and even that is not too tough. A large knife really helps. To butterfly the steak, cut almost all the way through the thickness of the flank steak, keeping the steak intact on one side.

021910 011-1 To reduce mess, place your flank steak on a foil lined baking sheet and open it up flat. Spread with the pesto.

Optional step: Sear steak in a hot skillet on all sides. I did not do this and it turned out fine.

Roll up the flank steak and secure with kitchen string or toothpicks.

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Spread top of steak with some of the pesto drippings (some are sure to have leaked out). Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Roast at 425°F for 30-40 minutes, or until thermometer reaches 130-140°F (for medium rare). If you sear the steak first, it will need slightly less time.

Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

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I served this with some sautéed mushrooms and this Garlic Roasted Broccoli. Roasting vegetables with garlic is definitely our favorite way to eat veges around here. See the recipe below for some alternate roasted vege ideas.

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RECIPES:

Pesto Stuffed Flank Steak

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1 flank steak
1 cup prepared Basil Pesto
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Butterfly flank steak: Cut almost all the way through the thickness of the flank steak, keeping the steak intact on one side. On a foil lined baking sheet, open up butterflied steak and lay flat. Spread with pesto.

Roll up flank steak. Secure with kitchen string or toothpicks.

Optional step: Sear steak in a hot skillet on all sides.

Spread top of steak with some of the pesto drippings (some are sure to have leaked out). Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Roast at 425°F for 30-40 minutes, or until thermometer reaches 130-140°F (for medium rare). If you sear the steak first, it will need slightly less time.

Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Garlic Roasted Broccoli

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1 pound fresh broccoli
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
5-6 large cloves fresh garlic
salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Smash garlic slightly with edge of knife or cut each large garlic clove into 3-4 slices. Put cut broccoli, garlic, and olive oil into large Ziploc bag and let marinate 30-60 minutes. (This is optional, but marinating will make the broccoli more garlicky.)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place mixture on a foil-lined baking sheet and season with fresh ground black pepper and salt. Roast until vegetables are slightly softened and edges are starting to brown slightly, about 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.

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Alternate Preparations:

Roasted Broccoli with Sesame Seeds:
Follow recipe above, adding 1 Tbs soy sauce, 1 Tbs toasted sesame seeds, and 1 tsp sesame oil to marinade (use less garlic, if desired).

Other Roasted Vegetables:
Try this cooking method with: asparagus, brussel sprouts (cut in half), green beans, carrots, cauliflower. Adjust cooking time based on thickness of vegetable.

This post was entered into the “Grow Your Own” roundup, created by Andrea’s Recipes and hosted this month by House of Annie.

 

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Pizza with Roasted Zucchini Pomodoro Topping

Copy of DSC01851Last week the weather turned cold, and it was time to bring in all of the remaining vegetables and herbs. Some of these things will be dried or frozen, but I took the opportunity to use some of the last of our oregano and thyme to make this pizza topping.

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This recipe came my way from a good friend Amelia, who had given it to my daughter, Middle K. M-K was working on a project where she had to plan and prepare all of the meals for our family for two weeks. I was surprised that she chose such a healthy pizza option as one of her dinners, but I am so glad that she did. We have made it several times in the last month since her project finished. We modified the recipe quite a lot, roasting the vegetables instead of sautéing them and changing up the spices.

Grow Your OwnI have followed the Grow Your Own event for some time now, and I am excited (as a new blogger) to now submit my own garden harvest recipe. I love seeing how other people use the fresh produce from their gardens. For all of the Grow Your Own recipes this month,visit host Andrea Meyers.

Slice fresh zucchini and tomatoes and place them on an olive oil brushed roasting pan.

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Brush the veges again with additional olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper. Roast at 450°F for 10 minutes.

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DSC01815Meanwhile chop your herbs of choice- we used oregano and thyme  (basil would also be good)  and stir in some chopped garlic. Top zucchini and tomato slices with herb/garlic mixture. Roast again for another 10 minutes.

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While the zucchini and tomatoes are roasting again, prepare your pizza crust. Instead of a regular pizza crust, we used sliced French bread and some whole wheat tortillas. I loved how the tortillas turned out. The flavor of the toppings really dominated the dish! It did require a fork for eating, however!

We also used a Basil Pesto for sauce instead of a tomato based sauce. It was fabulous-highly recommended.

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Add a layer of cheese to your pesto-topped crust and then arrange roasted tomatoes and zucchini over the cheese. I would have liked for these to have had even more of the toppings, but we didn’t have quite enough for all of our pizzas. Next time I will roast lots more zucchini and tomatoes.

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Cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve with crushed red peppers, if desired.

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RECIPE:

Pizza with Roasted Zucchini Pomodoro Topping

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Topping:
1 lb fresh plum tomatoes, cut in half (or any variety, thickly sliced)
2 zucchini, cut into slices
2 Tbs olive oil
salt & fresh ground pepper
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1-2 Tbs chopped fresh oregano
1-2 Tbs chopped fresh thyme or basil

Pizza Crust
Pizza Sauce/Pesto Sauce
Cheese (try mozzarella, shredded or fresh, goat cheese, Parmesan)
Crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a broiler pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray.

Arrange tomato and zucchini slices on the pan. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes.

Combine garlic, oregano and thyme (or basil). Sprinkle over partially cooked vegetables and return pan to oven. Cook an additional 10 minutes.

Spread crust with pizza sauce, pesto sauce, or use no sauce. Add a layer of cheese and then the roasted tomatoes and zucchini. Bake until cheese melts. Serve with crushed red pepper flakes.

 

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