Roots, Shoots and Squash

Locale: Mediterranean

Source: Nancy Harmon Jenkins, The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook [p. 344]

Serves: 8


  • 1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • about 2 tbs fresh herbs, finely minced (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, winter savory, chives, or scallion tips)
  • 1 tsp medium strength ground chili
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 lb carrots, cut in 1-inch slices
  • 1 lb celery root, peeled, cut in chunks
  • 1 lb small white turnips, peeled, cut in chunks
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled, cut in chunks
  • 1.5 lbs hard winter squash, peeled, cut in chunks
  • 2 leeks, cut in chunks
  • 8 garlic cloves, cut in half
  • or any other similar root vegetables (potatoes, parsnips, rutabaga, daikon)


  1. Set oven to 450F.

  2. Peel and quarter the onions. Cut other vegetables into large chunks, and add to a large bowl. (Celery root should be rubbed with lemon juice to prevent discoloring.) Keep squash and leeks separate.

  3. Rub about 1 tbs olive oil over the bottom of an oven dish large enough to hold all the vegetables in one or two layers. Add remaining oil to the vegetables, along with lemon juice, mixed herbs, chili, salt, and pepper to taste. Mix so all the vegetables are coated with the oil. Arrange vegetables in baking dish, and bake 20 minutes. Add the squash, stir to mix, and bake 20 minutes more. Add leeks and garlic, stir to mix, and return to oven. After another 15 minutes, vegetables should be done: test with a knife, which should slide through without resistance.


  1. Recipe calls for 1 lb beets, which causes all sorts of problems: they need to cook longer (an extra 15-20 minutes), and need to be kept separate lest they bleed into everything else. I've purged them from the recipe.

  2. Food Network has a recipe that calls for butternut squash, Yukon gold potatoes, beets, red onion, parsnips, and garlic (one head, split into peeled whole cloves), baked at 425F for up to 45 minutes-1 hour. Epicurious has another variation calling for red-skinned potatoes, celery root, rutabagas, carrots, parsnips, onions, leeks, fresh rosemary, and garlic, baked at 400F but 75 minutes, and notes that it can be rewarmed in a 450F oven for 15 minutes. Finally, Tori Avey has a version with beets, butternut squash, yam, parsnip, carrot, red onion, and garlic, seasoned with thyme, that bakes for 45 minutes at 425F.


  1. 2016-12-02: