Since root vegetables and winter squash are most prevalent at this time of year, you might like to try these delicious Harvest based recipes.
Peel, chop and combine whatever root vegetables you have (potatoes, carrots, turnips, etc.) and an onion peeled and quartered. Toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and seasonings and bake in covered pan at 400º F (200º C) for about an hour or until tender. It’s an easy accompaniment for a meal and roasting is a quick, easy way to bring out the best flavors of many vegetables.Smashed Roots
1 carrot per person
2-5 peeled garlic cloves (optional)
1 small rutabaga or turnip
1 potato per person
olive oil or butter
- Wash, peel and cut the vegetables into cubes. Mince the garlic.
- Put in a large pot, add about 1 ml (tsp) salt. Add about 5 cm (2 inches) of water.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender.
- Mash together (do not drain) and add 15ml (1 tablespoon) olive oil or butter and grated Parmesan cheese to flavour.
Better than Fries!
Preheat an oven to 425°.
- Thinly slice potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other root vegetables or cut into sticks.
- In a large bowl combine 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of vegetable oil and a choice of seasonings. If you like spicier food add cayenne and chili powder. Alternatively you may add oregano, basil and thyme. Add salt and pepper. Add potatoes or a mixture of vegetables. Toss to coat.
- Spread in single layer on a baking sheet and bake 30 to 45 minutes or until crisp and browned. With a flipper turn the vegetables every 10 to 15 minutes.
Quick & Easy Squash
Winter squash (acorn, butternut, hubbard, spaghetti) may be stored over the winter months. Winter squash can be baked with or without a stuffing. Cut it in half and remove the seeds. (Hint: microwave the whole squash for a few minutes to soften it just enough to make cutting it in half easier). Then fill the centre with a mixture of diced apples, dried cranberries and cinnamon. Sprinkle with a little fruit juice, cover and microwave on high for 8 – 15 minutes or bake at 400º F. until tender.
**Here are some general tips for storing the last vegetables and fruits in your garden.
- Clean and sort: Prior to storing vegetables and fruits, wash thoroughly with water. Remove any that are damaged, have soft spots, or have holes in them. The old saying "one bad apple spoils the whole bushel" is actually quite true. Bacteria is what spoils fruit and vegetables in longer term storage. After washing them, many people rinse them in a very light solution of chlorine and water. This is works well for winter squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers and a few other vegetables that have a hard skin. Use one part chlorine bleach to twenty parts water. Then, let them dry thoroughly before putting them away as dampness and moisture provide the ideal environment for food spoilage. Fruits and root crops do not usually need this extra protection. And, this is not recommended for thin skinned vegetables, leaf crops or others with a short shelf life.
- Spread them out: When putting fruits and vegetables away for long term storage, do not pile them high and together in one big container. Several smaller containers are best. Keep them from touching each other, if possible. If one does go bad, the bacteria or fungus has a harder time spreading if the fruit and vegetables are separated.
- Best storage conditions: The general rule of thumb is cool, dry and dark conditions are the best. Many fruits and vegetables will last for months under the ideal conditions.
Recipes provided by Mary Gale Smith, Produce Preservation Coach for the Produce Availability Initiative