Passover is a springtime celebration, but we’ve had a really long winter in Southern California with lots of dreary days and rain clouds. I can’t say it’s been “cold” exactly (if I did, my friends on the East Coast would never forgive me!). After I left Los Angeles for Israel, it started to warm up a lot… apparently the weather is now very spring-like. But this year, March seemed much colder than normal in Los Angeles. It was so abnormally cold that my cats, Blueberry and Muffin, were perpetually snuggled together like two peas in a pod. They slept curled up with each other on our overstuffed chair, only moving when they heard me open a can of cat food. Other than that, they were happy to be snoozing together. I don’t blame them, it’s cozy there.
The cold weather made me crave wintery comfort foods, like root vegetables. I made a batch of Oven Roasted Root Vegetables a couple of weeks ago, and I realized that it would actually make a tasty side dish for Passover. So I’m sharing it with you all, in case you need another simple veggie side dish for your Passover menu!
This recipe is great for a crowd because you can easily double the quantity and roast two baking sheets full of veggies. You can use any combination of root veggies you like. If you don’t like yams, you can substitute plain potatoes. Not a fan of parsnip? Use two carrots instead. It’s a great way to clear out your produce drawer, and the process could not be easier.
If you use red beets in this recipe, keep in mind that the roasting will release a pinkish juice that will color the other vegetables. The color doesn’t bother me– in fact, I think it’s kind of pretty. However, if you’d rather not have pinkish veggies, use golden beets or omit the beets completely.
Another hint… I’ve found that the toughest part of prepping this dish is peeling and seeding the butternut squash. Go ahead and buy the packaged pre-peeled and cubed squash if you can find it. It’ll save you a lot of prep time and effort.
I like to keep my seasonings simple in this dish. Root veggies have such earthy, wonderful flavors that I prefer to taste them in their naked glory. I only use salt, pepper, and fresh thyme to season them. For more flavor, you could sprinkle them with rosemary, oregano, a little garlic powder, or fresh chopped parsley. Use your culinary imagination!
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- 1 bunch (1 lb.) beets, red or golden, trimmed and scrubbed
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and seeded
- 1 large yam, peeled
- 1 large parsnip, peeled
- 1 large carrot, peeled
- 1/2 red onion
- 6 - 8 whole garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
You will also need
- Foil lined baking sheet
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Cut vegetables into 1 ½ inch chunks. Toss vegetables in a large bowl with garlic cloves, thyme leaves, and 3 tbsp olive oil till evenly coated.
- Spread vegetables out evenly on the cookie sheet in a single layer.
- Sprinkle vegetables generously with salt and lots of black pepper.
- Roast the vegetables in the hot oven for about 45 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking, until vegetables are tender and starting to turn golden. Serve hot.