A blog of hopeful, inspired living: cooking & baking & growing & harvesting & preserving & gleaning & eating & sharing food... while bringing positive change to my kitchen and our food system.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rooted and Root Vegetables

I have a difficult time making plans on Sundays. I like the luxury of slowness and routine on Sunday morning.  If you have young children, you probably hate hearing me talk about lazy Sunday mornings... but I don't have kids yet and one day when I do, my slow Sundays will be something I reminisce about. Waking up leisurely, walking downtown to the local coffee shop leisurely, drinking a hot latte and reading the Sunday paper... leisurely.  Last but not least is a stop at the weekly farmers' market, which we are lucky to have year round. I savor this simple routine, the time with my partner, being disconnected from responsibility and technology, and spending time in the town where I live. It makes me feel more rooted.

I've lived in the Bay Area for almost six years. I've lived in my current town for just over a year. I moved out here from the east coast. From a place that I really knew well: friends and family nearby in all directions, local music and dancing hot spots, my favorite yoga teacher, farmer friends, artist friends, favorite foraging spots for mushrooms, wild leeks and fiddlehead ferns. It takes time to feel at home in a new place... especially if you keep moving homes. I'm still working on rooting here. Sundays help. So does returning to familiar recipes. These roasted root vegetables are a quintessential dish -- a great reminder of my roots, of family, of friends. When I make this recipe I am transported back to days working on Hampshire College's farm, Red Fire Farm, to the make-shift root cellar in the yurt I lived in, to Thanksgiving, to that leisurely Sunday feeling.

This time of year the farmers' market is spilling over with all sorts of veggies that are perfect for roasting. They are so beautiful and delicious roasted simply together. You can use whatever vegetables you have available. Here's what is in the mix here:

Roasted Root Vegetables
Any or all of the following:
Beets -- any color, or a mix of colors
Sweet potato
Onions (I prefer sweet or red onion)
Garlic (separate the cloves, but leave the cloves whole and unpeeled)
Celery root (not pictured, but also a delicious root to add, peeled)
Fennel (not a root, but great in the mix)
Butternut Squash (another great non-root!)

Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Rosemary, chopped finely

1. You can make these by feel, based on how ever many veggies you have or want to make.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
3. Peel (if necessary) and cut the vegetables into pieces that are about the same size. Onions and fennel can be cut bigger.
4. Toss with olive oil, just enough so the olive oil lightly coats the vegetables. Sprinkle with sea salt and rosemary, to taste.
5. Spread in one layer in one or multiple rimmed baking pans.
6. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes. The vegetables should be tender and a bit caramelized. Serve hot.

What makes you feel rooted?


  1. A delicious and wonderful side any time of year. Various spices also produce some nice varied flavors depending on what you feel like in a particular batch. Yum!

  2. Oh lovely! (you not the post - but the post is nice too).. What gorgeous photos and what a story you tell with roots about roots ;) i love my sunday mornings too with my tea and window and a big comfy blanket. My home is where I'm rooted, regardless of where it is. Right now, it's on Vancouver Island and I love it. Great post sugar!

  3. Thanks for the note, Kristy! I've always wanted to visit Vancouver Island... but the tea and blanket sound good from here, too.

  4. You are a wonderful writer, a wonderful cook and a wonderful person. This dish definately takes me to many memories & beautiful family events. Yummmm my mouth is watering... Great photos too. Great job and thanks for the memories...