Fall vegetable sides provide the perfect opportunity to marry a cornucopia of seasonal colours with complementary flavors that have gradually become traditional through the years.
Witness our maple-roasted acorn squash rings with maple syrup, our apple and butternut squash combo finished with a scrumptious bacon-pecan topping – and think of the appetizing colours in our thyme-flavoured roasted Brussels sprouts, red onions and beets!
Roasted Purple Potatoes and Golden Beets
The dark purple colour of purple potatoes combines with the rich golden tones of the beets for a truly regal effect in celebration of our rich fall landscape. If you haven’t tried purple potatoes, you’re in for a real treat! These gorgeous culinary treasures are native to South America where they have long been cherished for their delicious flavor, disease resistance and ability to survive in harsh environments.
Purple potatoes also pack a powerful nutritional punch unlike most white-fleshed varieties. Packed with antioxidants, they are also higher in fiber. Note that the exposed potato flesh turns brown while roasting. In order to maintain the visual appeal, slice the vegetables at least ½” thick and carefully remove the browned outer skins before serving. Just don’t go and discard that delicious crispy browned layer! Just chop and sprinkle on top for an added layer of yummy. And you can still enjoy those vibrant purple hues that elevate this dish from basic to extraordinary!
Why not double the recipe? Perfect with our Marinated Strip Steak Salad in our refreshing recipes for Fall Salads, these stunning fall season foods can also add a bold splash of colour as a side dish.
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 purple potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” slices
2 large golden beets, peeled and cut into ½” slices
1 tablespoons citrus or kosher salt
8-10 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and stems discarded (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a glass bowl, toss the sliced potatoes and beets with the olive oil.
3. Arrange coated vegetable slices in a single layer, leaving space between them. Sprinkle with citrus (or kosher) salt and thyme leaves. Place baking sheet in pre-heated oven and roast about 15 minutes before turning. Continue baking another 10-15 minutes or until beets and potatoes are fork tender.
4. Remove from oven and allow to cool before handling. Remove browned potato skins before serving to reveal the gorgeous colour underneath.
Blackened Sauteed Broccoli
Simple, quick and easy, this sauteed broccoli makes a delicious side dish perfect for mid-week meals. Lightly tossed with sesame oil, it pairs perfectly with Asian-inspired dishes like our Seared Sesame Tuna with Mixed Greens (see above link). It also marries well with everything from roasted chicken breasts to pan-seared pork chops.
2 heads fresh broccoli, washed and florets removed or 2 12oz bags of frozen broccoli florets
2 tablespoons water
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place fresh or frozen broccoli florets in a microwave-safe bowl with 2 tablespoons water. Microwave on high until crisp-tender. Cooking time will vary depending on individual microwaves, so test after 2 minutes and adjust cooking time accordingly. Do not overcook. Florets should be firm when finished.
2. Add one half of the chopped garlic to cold skillet with one tablespoon olive oil. Set heat to medium and add ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (if desired) and one tablespoon of butter.
3. Cook garlic over medium heat for approximately 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Increase heat to medium-high and add ½ broccoli florets to pan. Stir broccoli constantly while searing the florets.
4. Once blackened, remove the broccoli from the skillet and place in a large glass bowl. Cover and keep warm. Repeat process with remaining garlic, olive oil, red pepper, butter and broccoli.
5. When second batch of broccoli is finished, add it to the bowl with the original batch. Drizzle with sesame oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Maple-Roasted Acorn Squash Rings
These baked acorn squash rings can be served straight from the oven as an simple, yet delicious side dish or they can be dressed up for a much more elegant presentation. For example, you could fill the center area of each ring with wild rice and mushrooms or a rustic rosemary risotto. You could also fill them with a mixture of dried cranberries and toasted pecans or a blend of pomegranate arils and goat cheese. Because acorn squash lends itself so well to whatever flavors you pair it with, the options are nearly endless.
2 whole acorn squash, washed and cut into 1” rings
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons real maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. To cut the squash in rings, start by cutting the bottom end (opposite the stem) off with a sharp, sturdy knife. Using that bottom edge as your guide, continue cutting up from that point in 1” sections toward the stem.
3. Cutting through the squash can be challenging, so go slow and make sure you are working on a stable cutting surface. The goal is to end up with uniformly thick rings (and all of your fingers!).
4. Once cut, remove the seeds and pulp from the center section of each ring using a round cookie cutter, if you have one. If not, use a round cup or glass as a template and cut around it with a small, sharp knife.
5. Place the acorn squash rings onto rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush each ring with olive oil and melted butter. Turn over and brush the opposite side. Drizzle maple syrup over each ring and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
6. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the squash is tender. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Red Onions & Beets
Easy yet elegant, this easy, eye-catching side dish will add rich autumn colours to your table while providing a healthy weeknight meal bursting with rich flavors.
3 large red beets, cleaned, peeled, cut into uniformly thick slices
1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, ends removed and cut in half
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon garlic powder, divided
1 red onion, outer skin removed and cut into uniformly thick slices, then quartered
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon pink Himalayan sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Add sliced red beets and Brussels sprouts and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons garlic powder.
3. Arrange beets and Brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer. Add red onion quarters, brush with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
4. Add fresh thyme sprigs to baking sheet. Sprinkle vegetables with pink Himalayan sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper. Bake in pre-heated oven for 25 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are golden brown and other vegetables are tender.
5. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.
Apple Butternut Squash Casserole with Bacon-Pecan Topping
The bacon-pecan topping truly makes this butternut squash side dish an easy sell. Get ready for second helpings!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35-40 minutes
¼ cup coconut oil, melted, divided
3 cups butternut squash, cubed
2 medium firm apples, cubed
1 small red onion, chopped
1½ teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
1½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped into ½-inch pieces
½ cup pecans, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1. Preheat oven to 400°F and grease a 9×13” baking dish with 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil. Set aside.
2. Combine butternut squash, apples and red onion with 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, sage, and thyme in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and toss to combine.
3. Transfer the butternut squash mixture onto the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Place in the preheated oven to roast just until the butternut squash is fork tender, around 25-30 minutes.
4. While the butternut squash mixture is roasting, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is cooked through and crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a small mixing bowl lined with paper towels to absorb excess grease. Blot off remaining grease on top and set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes.
5. Once cooled, discard the paper towels and add the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil, chopped pecans, honey, cinnamon, and ground cloves. Season with salt and black pepper as desired, and toss to combine.
6. Remove squash from oven and top with the bacon-pecan mixture. Return to the oven until the topping is nicely browned, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving.