Unless you have some fancy-schmancy dinner party planned, I find it best to go to the farmer's market with nary a menu in mind, and let the recently harvested fruits and veggies dictate what I'll be serving. Coming home with my fresh loot, I spread everything on the counter, take a step back, and look at colors and textures. Then, it all starts to come together.
When food is this fresh I don't mess around with too many ingredients. I prefer the natural flavors and aromas of the food to reach their full glory all on their own, without much coaxing from me. When I saw the beautiful golden and red beets, tender fingerling potatoes, fragrant fennel, and the deep green and orange of the Japanese pumpkin, Kabocha, I got giddy with grilling glee!
Slowly roasting vegetables releases their natural sugars, creating a delicious caramelization that marry all their glorious earthy flavors into one beautiful dish.
Balsamic Roasted Vegetables
Use as much or as little of each vegetable, or add your own market picks. The beauty of roasting is there are no rules!
Kabocha (or acorn squash)
Clean and top the beets and, along with the fingerling potatoes, drizzle with olive oil. Roast whole at 400 degrees until softened, but not completely cooked (about 30 minutes). Remove from the oven and carefully peel the beets, then cut in half. You can leave the fingerlings whole, and slice lengthwise in half before serving, or halve them and continue roasting (both ways are delish!)
Quarter the fennel and red onion lengthwise, and cut the kabocha into 1/2 inch wedges.
Toss all the veggies in a bowl and drizzle enough olive oil to sufficiently coat. Then, add a big splash of balsamic vinegar, a couple hearty pinches of Kosher salt, a few good turns of fresh ground black pepper, and a small sprig of fresh rosemary. Let roast another 30-40 minutes, turning every so often to get an even roast.
Go to your local farmer's market this weekend and let us know what you created!