If you haven’t yet been swept up by the sheet pan dinner craze, popularized by those drool-worthy photos on Pinterest, we’re here draw you in, at last. The concept is beautifully simple: you take oven-loving foods, slice them into portions that will finish cooking at the same time, arrange everything on a single sheet pan, and stand back while the oven takes care of dinner’s heavy lifting.
Sheet pan dinners are a busy family’s best weeknight friend: straightforward prep, relaxed cooking time, and super-easy clean-up.
With winter moving in, we’re returning to weather and temperatures that make us grateful for oven roasting, so we count a vegetarian sheet pan dinner as a big win-win: cozy warm kitchen, full tummies.
A side goal of today’s recipe is to help you deal with the overflowing contents of your CSA bag. Ours is now straddling summer and fall, so we have a bounty of both summer and winter squashes, potatoes, carrots, late summer corn, peppers, and early fall broccoli and cauliflower. But whatever the season, a meal of gently caramelized, oven-roasted vegetables is a great way to clear out that vegetable bin, while getting several servings of healthy veggies into your grateful body.
Another big plus of the vegetarian sheet pan dinner is that you can mix-and-match your veggies according to what you have on hand, or what your in-the-moment cravings demand. Did you find a stash of chunky butternut squashes at the farmers’ market? Yes! How about fresh, fragrant fennel bulbs? Absolutely. Purple top turnips? Delicious! Brussels sprouts calling your name? Go for it. It’s all good.
When the oven has performed its magic, we turn this medley of oven roasted vegetables into a filling meal by serving them over grains — leftover brown rice or quinoa from the freezer? Perfect! — and topping them with an unfussy and completely irresistible tahini miso sauce. Tahini is already a go-to condiment in my house, but when mixed with a snappy miso and a flavor-boosting acid, like white balsamic vinegar, the sauce becomes spoon-licking craveable and a worthy topping for our savory roasted vegetables.
A reminder when purchasing miso: double-check the ingredient label, as many misos are made with dashi that contains bonito (flaked shrimp or fish). My preferred sweet white miso is made only with fermented grains, sea vegetables, and soybeans. But whatever miso you choose, you’ll appreciate the unique pop of flavor it adds to sauces and dressings.
As a finishing touch, and to extend the Middle Eastern tahini theme, add a generous sprinkling of the bright and tangy za’atar spice blend over everything, to create a full-flavored, naturally vegan, roasted vegetable dinner.
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Try as best you can to slice the vegetables into similar sizes, so that they’ll cook evenly. Also, feel free to substitute other oven-loving vegetables that you have on hand, such as winter squash, Brussels sprouts, fennel, etc.
Roasted vegetables pair perfectly with leftover brown rice, quinoa, millet. If you’re pressed for time, prepare a small pasta, such as orzo, which can be cooked while the vegetables are in the oven.
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