Nothing is easier than roasting vegetables in the oven and there are not many fall recipes that bring together the warmth of root vegetables that only a good roasting can accomplish. This is also a great passover dish, sans the Bacon Cider Sauce of course but a reduction of Kosher Chicken Stock with a tad of pareve margarine is a brilliant side dish for a non-Seder meal. It is imperative to chop the vegetables to the same size, that way, each will cook at the same rate. You can make this dish a day ahead; refrigerate both the vegetables and sauce, then reheat both separately before bringing the two together. Keep the bacon separate from the Bacon Cider Sauce while in storage.
Add and replace any vegetables you like. Use new potatoes or fingerlings or even sweet potatoes, beets, brussels sprouts, winter squash, celery root, cranberries, whatever you desire. If you use beets, use golden beets, otherwise the red ones will turn everything pinkish.
I cannot think of anything better, especially during the fall harvest times, the thankful times of late Autumn and into November, than this earthy, satisfying helping of roasted vegetables. The fact that each bite has a cover glaze of apple-bacon-butter-like bliss is outstanding in itself, but then, that's just my opinion.
Fall Root Vegetables Roasted and served with a Bacon Cider Sauce
6 to 8 servings
2 medium rutabagas, peeled, cut into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes
2 medium turnips, peeled, cut into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes
2 or 3 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch x 1/2-inch pieces
2 large parsnips, peeled, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch cubes
4 stalks of celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 garlic toes (cloves), halved
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh snipped thyme
salt and pepper to taste
for the Bacon Cider Sauce:
1/2 cup diced lean-cut smoked bacon
2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
1/2 diced yellow onion
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh snipped thyme
3/4 cup apple cider juice
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon orange blossom honey
salt and pepper to taste
For the Roasted Vegetables:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Add rutabagas, turnips, carrots, parsnips, celery, garlic and other vegetables if desired to a large baking pan with a high rim. Pour the melted butter and olive oil and jumble well to coat vegetables. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper.
Place in oven and roast for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to 375 degrees and turn the vegetables over to evenly roast. Cook about 20 minutes or until tender and caramelized.
Remove from oven. Move vegetables to a serving bowl. Pour the Bacon Cider Sauce over the top and sprinkle with the cooked bacon.
For the Sauce:
Meanwhile, in a medium saucier or skillet over medium high heat, saute the bacon in the olive oil until light brown. Remove bacon with slotted spoon to a small bowl and put aside.
Add onion and butter and saute over medium low heat until onions caramelize to a nice, warm and light brown color. Add rosemary, thyme, cider, chicken stock and honey. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Allow liquid to reduce in half. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour over the roasted vegetables in a serving bowl prior to service and sprinkle with the bacon.
Note: I used bacon from a pack of 'ends and pieces' which luckily contained mostly lean meat. Ask your butcher or find it near packages of country style 'fatback' or salt-pork.