Time for some veggies in our lives.
We’ve made it through one of the most sweets-filled holidays of the year (I’m looking at you, Halloween) and if you’ve had anything like the past couple of weeks I’ve had, your ready for some of this nutritious goodness in your life. Enter: Maple Roasted Autumn Vegetables with Almonds and Grapes.
The hubs and I had a fantastic trip to Napa the weekend before last, and our extra day there (we arrived Friday morning rather than late Friday night like we usually do) really made a HUGE difference.
Because we were there during harvest, the Valley was incredibly busy. Being there on a Friday meant we were able to get into some of the smaller wineries that would require appointments far in advance on an October weekend. We got to check out so many new places that I had never been to, even during my three years living there.
I know I’ve already done a Travel Diary on Napa, but that was nearly two years ago, and so much has changed up there. I might just have to do another one telling you more about all that we did – so much great wine AND food!
We made it back to Santa Barbara late Sunday night, and I had a few days at home before I hopped on a plane on Friday for Hawaii. My dad and I have been eating our way through all of the fantastic new restaurants in Honolulu ever since, but more on that coming in a future post!
One thing I know for sure is that I’m going to be eating alllll the vegetables I possibly can between the time I get back next Sunday and Thanksgiving in just a few short weeks. Gotta maintain that balance, yo!
And these Maple Roasted Autumn Vegetables with Almonds and Grapes are THE answer. I tell ya. I’ve never seen so much seasonal goodness wrapped up in one dish (okay, except for maybe in this Fall Kale Salad with Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette I posted a couple of weeks ago.)
This dish is incredibly easy and also very versatile. My picks to include in the mix (based on the “fall-est” looking goods at Trader Joe’s and what I already had in my refrigerator) were kabocha squash, fennel, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. The hardest part in deciding what to use is choosing vegetables that will all cook at about the same pace.
The two things I would recommend NOT leaving out (or substituting for) are the grapes and almonds. They truly make the dish. The grapes add the perfect hit of sweet juiciness, and the almonds add a three-dimensional crunch to the mix. We add these for the last 10 minutes of roasting to avoid the nuts getting burnt past edibility or the grapes shriveling up into nothing.
The other great thing about these Maple Roasted Autumn Vegetables with Almonds and Grapes? They are the perfect canvas for soooo many different dinners.
We baked up a lovely piece of lemon, rosemary and garlic-scented sea bass to serve atop the veggies, and the only thing we wished we’d done was add some farro or another hearty grain to round everything out. You could also serve this with grilled chicken OR steak, or to keep it vegetarian, simply mix in some white beans or tofu.
The hardest part about these Maple Roasted Autumn Vegetables with Almonds and Grapes is chopping up the vegetables you’ll be using. FO REAL. The maple dressing comes together in as much times as it takes to melt butter, and once the mix is in the oven, you’ll have enough roasted vegetables to last you at least three meals in just 30 minutes.
Before I set you loose on the recipe, I just have to touch on the maple dressing, because it is mmm mmm good and so incredibly easy. We simply melt high-quality butter in a small saucepan (I’m looking at you, Kerrygold) and, along with some pure maple syrup, we add in fresh rosemary, thyme and a dash of cayenne. We mix this deliciousness into the vegetables before roasting to give them a fantastic pop of herby, savory-sweet flavor.
Seriously, these Maple Roasted Autumn Vegetables with Almonds and Grapes are my new go-to for as long as the weather in SB cooperates enough for me to tolerate turning on my oven for 30 or so minutes. They are a great healthy treat to prep on a Sunday and reheat for the entire week (a bonus to autumn vegetables is that they hold up well to reheating!) So grab your favorite protein and whip these up for a nutrient-rich dinner tonight. Healthy food never tasted so good!
Fall's best vegetables are tossed in an herbed maple dressing and roasted until golden and delicious.
- 4 cups cauliflower florets
- 1/2 medium kabocha squash peeled, seeded and cubed
- 4 cups Brussels sprouts halved
- 1 fennel bulb thinly sliced
- 1/2 medium white or yellow onion thinly sliced
- 8 tablespoons high-quality butter I prefer Kerrygold
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped or slivered almonds
- 1 cup purple grapes halved
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine all vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. As the butter is melting, add the maple syrup, rosemary, thyme and cayenne. Whisk gently until butter is melted, then pour mixture over vegetables.
Stir vegetables to evenly coat them with the maple dressing, then season with salt and pepper.
Pour vegetables onto a large jelly roll pan. Place in 400-degree oven and bake for 20 minutes, stirring once after 10 minutes.
At 20-minute mark, add almonds and grapes, then roast for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
These vegetables also save and reheat well, so if you don’t want to eat them right away, you can store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. Just be sure to let the vegetables cool a bit before placing them in the refrigerator.
Eat the rainbow!!