Spring has sprung, or at least is trying very hard to do so. Here in Colorado, spring’s arrival feels more like a manic seasonal tug of war with winter. As the chill begins to fade, buds emerge only to be doused with wet spring snow. This dance continues usually well into May.
Despite this I couldn’t help my excitement at seeing familiar spring vegetables and herbs begin showing up at my grocery store. I love seeing new asparagus, in white, green and purple. Peppery arugula is a favorite of mine as is sorrel which we only get in spring. After sharing a naturally gluten-free spicy ginger chicken stir fry and hearty hasselback sweet potatoes with creamed chipotle turkey, celebrating the seasonal change with roasted spring vegetables with butternut squash noodles seems a proper meeting in the middle of spring and winter! A bit of goat cheese and dill tossed in finish the dish with a mouthwatering tang.
I love using my spiralizer, and have been itching to whip up something new with it for a while. One of the most popular recipes on Boulder Locavore right now is a very simple butternut squash noodles in sage brown butter. The reason it’s such a popular recipe, other than being easy and fast, is that butternut squash spiralizes into noodles that have a pasta-like consistency without an overbearing ‘squashy’ flavor. The noodles adapt well to most other flavors when added into a recipe, and leave diners feeling satisfied they’ve had a robust meal.
Though the initial intrigue of using a spiralizer for most people is about substituting vegetables for pasta (think health and weight loss), for those gluten-free it’s a fantastic alternative to pasta. Winter squash in particular creates substantial noodles in gorgeous colors, resulting in recipes that are as appealing to the eye as they are to the palate. They don’t have the bland flavors often found in traditional pasta.
Tender, slim asparagus stalks, grape tomatoes and Romanesco are the tasty trio of balsamic roasted vegetables in this recipe. If you aren’t familiar with Romanesco, it’s in the Brassicas family which includes cauliflower and broccoli. Its texture is most like cauliflower, however it has florets like broccoli.
Romanesco is a brilliant shade of green, with fractal-shaped florets making it the weirdest looking vegetable you’ll find in the produce aisle right now. It is a definite ‘must try’. Romanesco adds texture, flavor and visual panache to any dish.
This brightly colored recipe would fit as well on your Easter menu as it would for a relaxed meat-free main dish for lunch or dinner any day!
Roasted Spring Vegetables with Butternut Squash Noodles Recipe
- 5 cups spiralized butternut squash noodles, approximately 1 large butternut squash neck
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons, divided
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 small head romanesco, cut into florets, approximately 4 cups
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 20 medium spear asparagus, bottom trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-2 inch lengths
- 1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
- 2 teaspoons fresh dill, diced
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F. Separate the oven racks to allow two baking sheets to cook at the same time. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat and set aside.
To spiralize the Butternut Squash: Slice the neck off a large butternut squash making a straight cut. Peel the outside of the squash neck and slice the stem off making flat/straight cut. Place the large end of the neck on the blade side of your spiralizer and using the 1/8 inch or 3mm blade, and spiralize into noodles (it will yield 4-5 cups).
Place the noodles in a large mixing bowl, toss with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and spread on one of the prepared cooking sheets. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Add the Romanesco florets to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle approximately half of the oil and vinegar over the florets and toss to coat. Spoon the Romanesco onto half of the second prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with a third of the kosher salt (2/3 teaspoon) and bake for 10 minutes.
While the Romanesco is roasting, place the tomatoes in the same mixing bowl used for coating the Romanesco with oil and vinegar. Drizzle with half of the remaining olive oil and vinegar; toss to coat. When the Romanesco has roasted for 10 minutes, remove the tray from the oven and add the coated tomatoes to the same pan; sprinkle with half the remaining salt and return to the oven for 10 additional minutes.
While the other vegetables are roasting, add the asparagus to the same mixing bowl used to coat Romanesco and tomatoes; drizzle with the remaining olive and vinegar, add to the baking sheet with the other vegetables, sprinkle with the remaining salt and cook for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, add the baking sheet of butternut squash noodles to the oven and allow both baking sheets to cook 5 more minutes and remove from the oven. Allow to sit for 2 minutes.
Combine the butternut squash, Romanesco, asparagus in a large mixing or serving bowl. Gently toss to mix together. Add the goat cheese and dill; toss again. Lastly add the tomatoes and very gently stir of toss to incorporate them (they will be very soft). Salt and pepper to taste and serve in one large bowl or as individual servings if for a main dish.
Spiralizer Tri-Blade Vegetable Spiral Slicer
Le Creuset Jelly Roll Pan
360 Bakeware Jelly Roll Pan
Demarle Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat