Friday, January 2, 2009

Maple roasted winter vegetables with marcona almonds

Many people eagerly await asparagus in April and fresh corn in July. I'll admit, I definitely look forward to fava beans and morels in the spring, and tomatoes from my garden in the summer. That being said, winter produce has more to offer than most people think. I love winter squash - there are so many different varieties with a wide range of tastes and textures. Over the past few winters, I've also been experimenting more with root vegetables. Parsnips, turnips, celery root and rutabagas have found a regular place on the dinner table.

This recipe from the thanksgiving issue of Bon Appetit combines two types of winter squash and parsnips with maple syrup for added sweetness and marcona almonds for crunch. I think that most people are familiar with butternut squash and parsnips, although it does amuse me that the national chain grocery store in my area has parsnips in their "exotic vegetable" section.

Kabocha squash is also known as a Japanese pumpkin. It's usually dark green, but occasionally you'll see one with an orange skin. To me the flavor is similar to butternut, but sweeter. If you can't find kabocha, I think you could just use the butternut and parsnips with good results.The squash and parsnips are first peeled and cubed. Fair warning - peeling winter squash can be a pain, especially for kabochas since they have a thick skin. I ended up with more squash than the recipe called for, so I used the rest to make a pureed soup for the freezer. The squash and parsnips are tossed in a combination of butter, maple syrup, rosemary, salt and pepper. I omitted the garlic and cut the amount of maple syrup and butter in half. I didn't follow the roasting instructions - instead I cooked everything uncovered at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes.

30 comments:

Jaime said...

i love the combination of butter and maple syrup - brings out the flavor in these veggies :)

Nina's Cooking 4 Fun said...

Hi Sara, thanks for the lovely comments! How the marcona almonds
looks like? White almonds?

Sara said...

Nina - marcona almonds are a variety of almond from Spain. They're more flavorful than your typical almond, and they always come blanched. You could substitute regular blanched almonds.

Katie said...

Parsnips! My love! That looks great... I'll have to make that soon!

anudivya said...

The combination of veggies sound beautiful! Love it.
Wish you a very Happy new year Sara!

Elra said...

Do you know that parsnip is my favorite root vegetable? I love it so much...
Cheers,
Elra

Malar Gandhi said...

Winter vegetables with nuts, sounds like great recipe, a must try one.

VeggieGirl said...

Mmmm, wonderful!!

Tiffany said...

That looks really good. I wouldn't consider parsnips exotic either, although I do admit that I have never tasted them or even had them served to me. I guess I'll have to cook some up and try them.

Zesty Cook said...

I adore MAPLE SYRUP! Great recipe.

zesty

Judy said...

I think parsnips have almost become an exotic veggie because they're so rarely used any more. I am winter squash obsessed. I love, love, love it. But because of blood sugar problems, I always leave sugar out. The maple syrup idea looks interesting though.

Priscilla said...

Yum, Sara this look so good! the maple syrup sounds the best!

The Blonde Duck said...

That sounds really good! Yum!

Cathy said...

I love the combination of squash and parsnips. And maple syrup too. Yummy.

Barbara Bakes said...

I'm still such a baby about eating vegetables. I need to expand my horizons. I don't ever remember eating parsnips. This receipe sounds delcious!

Cooking and the City said...

I love the look & sound of this! I've roasted veg in maple syrup but never used almonds, must try it :-)

Lori Lynn said...

Marcona almonds are the best! Nice addition to the roasted vegetables.

ttfn300 said...

yeah, that sounds like the bomb :) i love winter squashes!!

alexandra's kitchen said...

you're so right about winter vegetables. I haven't cooked enough with them this winter and I love parsnips more than anything. I like your alteration of the recipe — I feel like your method would get better caramelization. Yum!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Such colorful dish and with a nice glaze! The crunch of the almonds must have taken it to the next level!

soulchocolate said...

The squash looks super juicy and yummy! I love baked squash!

Maria said...

roasted veggies are the best! I love the addition of almonds!

Annie said...

I tried parsnips once or twice and liked them but for some reason haven't cooked them since. Thanks for the reminder...

Ana Powell said...

Lovely combination of flavours.
Great recipe
Ana x

Jan said...

Hi Sara, thanks for stopping by my humble abode, I'd like to wish you and yours a Happy New Year too.

I'm doing a roasted roots recipe myself this evening, but yours looks much more interesting. Great job.

Yasmeen said...

Healthy medley of winter veggies, looks inviting with the Spanish almonds:)

LyB said...

That looks delicious. I love the taste of maple with roasted vegetables.

Chef E said...

That looks amazing! I have a squash on the counter I need to use...so you have inspired me!

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Mmm this sounds so delicious!

Raspberry Runner said...

almonds with squash...wow that looks good! i have some butternut squash right now that i think i will add some slivered almonds to when i make it!