A tiny hand escaped from mine as her feet searched gleefully for a bare spot. She couldn’t find it. Leaves of every color blanketed the uneven pavement making it nearly unrecognizable. She hopped about kicking some in hopes that it would reveal itself. It was enchanting in a way standing on the familiar but not discerning any of it. I watched her do this for some time until she grew bored with the activity and moved on.
Nature is beguiling. I feel bewitched by the display before me. So many leaves, not one like the other, swaying about in the occasional gust of wind. I take her hand as we continue on our walk.
Fall is a feast for the senses. It puts a spell on me every year and I long for it to last. Everything is beautiful, rich, draped in every shade of yellow, orange and red. A trace of green still cutting through reminds me of what was and what will be in another 5 months.
Saddened by the realization that soon all will be bare and bleak, I walk a little slower feeling melancholy. But the bouncy, blonde haired, blue eyed girl beside me, dragging a stick in the pile of leaves, screaming with delight, jolts me out of it.
I wanted to pay homage to this season of gold and make a dish reminiscent of the very colors draping our lawns and sidewalks. Because not only are the leaves exquisite during this time of year but so is the produce. Beets, carrots, Brussels sprouts wed with tangy apple, maple syrup, Dijon mustard and thyme to create an earthy autumn inspired dish.
Even though beets tend to be selfish, enveloping everything around them in their deep red color, the taste these vegetables take on when roasted together is everything I want out of a fall dish. You can put them on salad, as a side for your Thanksgiving dinner, or top them with a delicious runny egg and make a meal out of them.
It’s undeniable that fall is the most dramatic and beautiful season and during this time I find my food is often inspired by it.
maple dijon thyme roasted vegetables
prep time: 10
cooking time: 30
makes: 4-6 servings
6 medium carrots peeled and cut into 2 inch sticks
1 large beet or 2 medium peeled and cut into 4 and sliced
12 oz of Brussels sprouts cut in half
1 large apple peeled and sliced
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup plus 1 tsp (skip for whole 30)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 roasting trays
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line roasting trays with parchment paper.
In large bowl, add all vegetables and apple, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup, salt, pepper and thyme and toss to combine.
Spread evenly on roasting trays and roast for 30 minutes, rotating the trays half way through and tossing the vegetables for even roasting.
Meanwhile, in same bowl whisk together leftover tbsp olive oil, Dijon mustard and and leftover tsp of maple syrup.
When vegetables have finished roasting, add them to bowl and toss to combine with the Dijon maple dressing and serve right away.
Note: You can skip the Dijon if you prefer without and if whole 30, skip the maple syrup.