chopped vegetablesIt snowed almost all day today.  The sandhill cranes must be getting ready to head south, because I could hear them at dusk this evening, calling and honking and making such a racket, gathering at the bird sanctuary near here.  snowy grassesThese are perfect times to roast vegetables, using nature’s bounty, warming up the kitchen, warming up ourselves. The recipe I have posted below is very flavorful and nourishing.  I love the color combination of the vivid, golden butternut squash with the deep purple of the onion. Butternut squash and cauliflower can taste a little bland when cooked all on their own, but when they are roasted with a little olive oil, red onion and garlic, and then tossed with lemon and toasted walnuts, the result is delicious flavor and lots of nutrients.  Add some grated Parmesan cheese, spoon the mixture into a pita pocket or onto a piece of flatbread, and you have a light, yet satisfying meal.  This time of year makes me think of the following quote by the poet Wendell Berry: “Eating with the fullest pleasure is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world.  In this pleasure we experience and celebrate our dependence and our gratitude.”

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Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Roasted with Red Onion and Garlic

  • Servings: 2-4
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  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup red onion, sliced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  •   1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 pita bread pockets or 2-4 pieces flatbread


Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Wash and chop/slice the vegetables.  Spread the vegetables in a single layer onto a rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Roast in your oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the vegetables start to turn lightly brown and are crisp-tender.  While the vegetables are roasting, grate the teaspoon of lemon zest and squeeze the tablespoon of lemon juice into a cup.  Also, on a separate baking sheet, lay out the walnuts and pita bread.  For about the last five minutes of roasting time, place the walnuts and pita bread in the oven with the vegetables, till the walnuts are lightly toasted but not burned.  Remove the walnuts, pita, and vegetables from the oven and toss the vegetables and walnuts in a bowl with 1 more tablespoon of olive oil, the grated Parmesan cheese, the lemon zest and lemon juice.  Gently spoon the mixture into the pita pockets or spoon onto flatbread. Enjoy!