Sometimes I aspire to be a bit like Martha Stewart; to take the time and attention to set a stunning table or arrange charming seasonal decorations outside the front door.
Truth is I can barely manage to vacuum up the dog hair and clear the dining table of clutter to make room for place settings before our guests land at the door. (Meanwhile my husband is getting the laundry out of view, rounding up the kids and making sure there are no Lego pieces in the path of sock-footed guests.)
My entertaining energy goes into creating a great meal and then relaxing to enjoy it with friends.
Every once in a while a dish comes along that by its very nature has that “Martha” look, and gives the appearance that you have outdone yourself, with really not a lot of effort.
This is that dish. And in spite of the number of steps listed below, it’s pretty easy.
Cider-glazed roasted root vegetables recipe (served in roasted winter squash)
Adapted from A Periodic Table
For the cider glaze:
- 2 1/2 cups apple cider (or apple juice)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Grandma Fancy Molasses
For the vegetables:
- 1 medium-sized buttercup squash, top third cut off, and seeds removed
- 4-6 cups of root vegetables, cut into one-inch dice (a mixture of carrots, parsnips, turnip, rutabaga, sweet potato, beets)
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 2 firm, tart apples, peeled and diced
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- Handful of fresh sage or thyme
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt & pepper to taste
For the cranberry pumpkin seed sprinkle:
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- pinch kosher salt
- pinch chili powder
- ½ cup dried cranberries
To make the glaze:
- Combe apple cider and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium high heat and simmer until it reduces to about 1/2 cup (15-20 minutes). Be careful not to overdo it.
- Remove from heat, add the molasses. Set aside.
Roast your veggies and apples:
- Place your choice of root vegetables, along with the apples, onion, garlic and herbs, into a large bowl and toss with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Turn your mixture out onto a large baking sheet or pan lined with parchment paper.
- Season with salt and pepper
- Rub the inside of the squash, and the flesh side of the “lid”, with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place it on a baking sheet, flesh side down.
- Put both pans in the oven and roast at 400 F until tender and starting to brown a bit. About 25-35 minutes.
- (Toss the chopped veggies every 10 minutes or so)
Toast your pumpkin seeds:
- Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat.
- Add pumpkin seeds to the pan and toss with the butter.
- Toast gently until they start to pop, stirring them around in the pan to ensue nothing burns or browns too much.
To assemble your squash bowl:
- Place roasted quash on a warmed serving platter and fill with the roasted root vegetables.
- Pile extra roasted vegetables alongside the squash.
- Pour over the cider glaze and sprinkle with the roasted pumpkin seed cranberry mixture.
- To serve, slice squash into 4-6 wedges and plate, scooping up some extra root vegetables.