Grey-bellied Michelin man clouds hover over spring’s new shoots and pinwheel flowerettes poke up through green grass. Winter transitions to Spring, but my feet still stand in both. So it goes with times of transition, a displaced betwixt and between feeling of impending change afoot.
. . . . she can sense a shiver beneath the air,
in the pauses between the chirring of the insects,
like the spider cracks of ice when too much weight is set upon it.
Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See
This roasted vegetable melange is an homage to the arrival of spring amid winter’s green grassy under blanket. It’s a crazy mixed up time, so let’s dive in with a spring salad rooted in a winter squash.
- ¼ cup pepitas (roasted sunflower seeds)
- 2-3 fennel bulbs, outer core removed & thinly sliced
- ¾ to 1 lb. portabello mushrooms, sliced ¼ - ½" thick
- 1 small acorn squash, halved through root end, seeded, sliced crosswise ½" thick
- (leave the skin on; it's edible and yummy!)
- 7 tablespoons olive
- salt & pepper
- 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 1 TSP sumac (a tart middle eastern spice, optional)
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves, torn if large
- Preheat oven to 425º. Brush both sides of squash slices with 2 TSBP olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until tender but not mushy, tossing half way through roast time. On another baking sheet, brush mushroom & fennel slices with 2 TBSP olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast simultaneously during the last 10-15 minutes of acorn squash roasting time.
- Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, sumac, and remaining 3 TBSP oil in large bowl. Add roasted vegetables and toss to coat or for customization, drizzle over plate of selected vegetables as preferred. Season with salt, pepper and more vinegar to taste. Top with pepitas and mint leaves; they add a pop of bright flavor to signal spring's arrival.
Textured round stoneware plate made by Susan Simonini.
Tiny spice pinch pot made by Abigail Smith.
The Royal Copenhagen “blue fluted half lace” plate belonged to my mother and is now a part of my most treasured set of dishes. I’ve learned not to save “good” china for special occasions, but rather make special occasions out of the every day!
Gently loved baking sheets loaned to me courtesy of my dear friend, Diana.
Ceramic pitcher is a flea market find.