Fall harvest colors of fiery orange, garnet, pale silver green, and creamy yellow tossed together with shiny jewel like grapes and velvety bits of fresh sage make a dish perfect for the season. A combination of slightly sweet root vegetables roasted to caramel perfection is delicious served with a garlicky drizzle of balsamic syrup. I made this during Sukkot and my guests concurred it was a keeper recipe.
My inspiration for the combination came from a friend’s recipe for roasted squash which uses grapes and sage flavoring and my dietician’s advice to play with virtually calorie free vinegars to add flavor rather than oils.
Serves 6 to 12
2 large garnet yams
2 large yellow sweet potatoes
2 large parsnips
1 large fennel bulb
2 tablespoons olive oil or spray pump olive oil
2 cups halved red grapes
1 bunch fresh sage leaves
1/ 2 cup fresh orange juice
1 (8.5 ounce) bottle aged balsamic vinegar
5 peeled whole garlic cloves
Pre-heat oven to 400° F. Peel yams, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, and parsnips. Cut them into 1 inch chunks. Placevegetables in a large bowl and set aside. Next, slice off the fronds and a thin bit off of the bottom of fennel bulb. Cut fennel bulb into sticks and place in the bowl with the other prepared vegetables.
Toss vegetables with olive oil and season with salt. Add grapes to vegetables and toss again. Spread vegetables in a large baking dish. Roll up sage leaves like a cigar and cut into ribbons. Toss sage leaves on top of vegetables and pour orange juice over the top.
Place vegetables uncovered into oven, roast for one half hour. While vegetables roast, pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan. Add garlic cloves and boil on medium high heat until vinegar is reduced by half. Turn off the heat and allow vinegar to cool. This syrup keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks and may be stored refrigerated in a tightly covered jar. Open the oven and mix vegetables with a large spoon. Roast vegetables for another half hour and then, check for doneness. If vegetables are turning caramel color and feel soft they are done. If not, roast for another 15 minutes. Serve vegetables and pass the syrup separately or drizzle a bit on top before you serve.