When vegetables are roasted, something pretty close to magical happens. The high heat caramelizes the exterior, increasing the level of sweetness a number of notches (or in the case of certain vegetables like parsnips and potatoes, a whole bunch of notches). The outside gets a chewy bite, which the insides become tender. And when you put together a variety of vegetables in one pan, the jumble of colors all together is just gorgeous.
What could make something like this even better?
Did you know I was going to say cheese?
Fine, well then did you know I was going to say blue cheese? Specifically in this case a Buttermilk Blue from Roth (my partner in cheese these days). Blue cheese has a wonderful affinity for lots of vegetables, especially ones with a bit of sweetness to them – and as previously mentioned, after being roasted, that pretty much describes all vegetables. So that works. But the butternut squash and sweet potatoes are especially companionable with the creamy and mellow blue cheese.
The simple balsamic glaze the vegetables are roasted in also plays really nicely with the cheese. Another layer of sweet and tangy for the cheese to play with.
The types of vegetables and amounts are just suggestions. Mix up the selection depending on what you have around, what’s in season, etc. etc. Different types of potatoes, other winter squashes, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower, mushrooms, this blue cheese and vegetable idea can go on and on.
You could even do this with just one or two types of vegetables, though the assortment of colors will be less striking — which may be just fine. I picked out most of the Brussels sprouts after making this, (particularly the ones most covered in the Buttermilk Blue, so that does lead me to believe I should be making this with only Brussels sprouts one of these days.
Roasted Winter Vegetables with Blue Cheese
- ½ cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 butternut squash about 1 ½ pounds, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 sweet potatoes about 1 pound total, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound baby potatoes halved
- 2 red onions peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (which will fall apart a bit; it’s ok)
- 2 parsnips about 6 ounces total, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 bell peppers red, orange, or yellow, or a combination
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
- 8 ounces Roth Buttermilk Blue cheese
- fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs to garnish, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven, and another in the lower third.
- In a small container or bowl mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary and thyme. Divide all of the vegetables evenly between two rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle over the olive oil mixture and use your hands to toss so that the vegetables get evenly coated (you can use a spoon, but hands are faster and more effective). Spread the vegetables out in the pans so they are in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for about 40 to 50 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned in spots and tender. Switch the pans halfway through the roasting.
- While the vegetables are roasting, slice the blue cheese and break each slice into a few large flat pieces (this will happen partly on its own).
- As soon as the vegetables are cooked, remove the baking sheets from the oven (leave the oven on) and distribute the pieces of blue cheese over the hot vegetables. Place the pans back in the oven for 3 to 6 minutes. The cheese will soften and melt slightly. Transfer the vegetables onto a large serving platter. Season with extra salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with the rosemary or thyme sprigs if desired.
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