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The Philadelphia Jewish Voice
October 2005 > Food

Roasted Jewel Vegetables (pareve)

This bright, festive mélange of butternut squash, carrots, onions and beets makes a gorgeous presentation and is a perfect counterpoint to fish, yet it goes beautifully with chicken, turkey, and brisket as well. For variety, try other fresh herbs, singly or in combination—rosemary, sage, and oregano all work well—or use dried, sparingly, when fresh are not available. At the Rosh Hashana seder, eating carrots and beets (‘gezer’—an allusion to the word for ‘decree’ in Hebrew) symbolizes our request that G-d annul any evil decrees that have been made against us. 

5 carrots, peeled and sliced in large (1-1/2") pieces along a sharp diagonal
3 large or 4 small beets, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1" chunks
2 large onions (any variety work well, however use sweet onions such as Maui or Vidalia, when in season)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 sprigs fresh thyme
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

  1.  Arrange an oven rack in the top third of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  

  2. Combine the cut vegetables with the olive oil in a large bowl and toss to coat. 

  3.  Remove the soft leaves from the hard center stalk and chop roughly.

  4.  For easy clean-up, turn vegetables into a disposable aluminum roasting pan and spread them out evenly.

  5.  Rinse the thyme sprigs well and dry between paper towels. Remove the leaves from the coarse inner stem and coarsely chop them. Sprinkle thyme over the vegetables, along with kosher salt and a generous grinding of black pepper.

  6.  Roast for about 20 minutes, periodically giving them a stir so they cook evenly.

  7. Test for doneness by inserting the tines of a large fork or a skewer, and continue roasting until each vegetable is cooked all the way through and beginning to brown.