I didn’t plan on preparing something as autumn-ish as this over the May long weekend but the weather has been cold and gloomy all weekend. It has literally rained all day, every single day. We even had snow on Sunday! So, were having baked squash in May.
Roasting a big batch of vegetables can set you up nicely for faster dinner prep during the week. They can be added to soups, salads and pasta dishes or they can be spooned over baked potatoes or rice. I find it really useful to have extra roasted vegetables on hand, so I often make more than I need. The vegetables I chosen for this dish were the vegetables in my refrigerator at the time – you could easily switch these for your favourites. (As I was preparing this dish, I kept wishing I had Brussel sprouts – I think they would be a great vegetable to add!
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
- 1 small broccoli, trimmed and washed
- 1 red bell pepper, halved, seeds and ribs removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 small red onion, peeled, root ends cut off, and cut into 8 wedges
- 1 yam, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium bulb of fennel, fonds removed, thickly sliced
- 1 stalk celery, thickly sliced
- 2 medium carrots, scrubbed and thickly sliced
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. pomegranate molasses
- 2 cloves garlic, minced and divided (save half for the assembly)
- Fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Cut each squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds and strings using a spoon. Place squash, skin side down on a roasting pan. Pour 1/4-inch of water in the bottom of the pan to keep the squash moist. Roast for 40-60 minutes in the middle of the oven, or until tender and cooked through. (The squash can be prepared to this point ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring the squash back to room temperature before continuing).
While the squash are roasting prepare the rest of the vegetables. Line another large, shallow baking sheet with parchment. Coarsely chop all of the vegetables slightly larger than bite-size pieces and place them in a large bowl or Ziploc bag.
Add one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and one tablespoon of pomegranate molasses to the prepped vegetables and toss to evenly coat the vegetables. Dump everything onto the parchment lined baking sheet and shake the pan to spread the vegetables in a single layer. (Divide the vegetables between 2 pans if they will not fit on one pan in a single layer). Lightly season with salt and pepper. Bake for 40-50 minutes. (If necessary, rotate the tray halfway through to ensure the vegetables cook evenly). Vegetables are done when they are crisp-tender and beginning to brown around the edges.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Gently turn squash haves cut-side up in the roasting pan. Combine the remaining tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and pomegranate molasses with the minced garlic and toss that with the roasted vegetables. Mound the roasted vegetables inside the cavity and on top of the squash halves. Place the squash halves in the oven, loosely cover the pan, and heat through ( about 20-25 minutes).