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Author Notes: If you haven't discovered the glories of boiled cider, you should. Imagine the essence of fall, concentrated into a heady syrupy apple-y elixir. If you have ever been in an orchard where the bees get drunk from eating the fermenting fruit and bumble around in a bliss of over-indulgance, it's like that. Made in similar fashion to that of maple syrup, apple cider is boiled down until reduced to the slightly thick and darkly mysterious liquid that can be used on anything - oatmeal, pancakes, savory vegetables. Boiled cider is a regional thing - mostly found in New England but you can order it online if your local specialty store doesn't have it. I get mine from Woods Cider Mill in Vermont.
And a disclaimer about this recipe: these vegetables will be 'done' at different times. I am not opposed to either mushy apples or 'al dente' parsnips but I am vehemently against extra work so....I cooked them all together. If you want a more even-textured dish add them in the following order: parsnips, sweet potato and acorn squash, apple and fennel.
I. Love. Fall. —Niknud
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/3 cup boiled cider
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 acorn squash, peeled and cut into 1/2" dice
- 4 small parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2" dice
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2" dice
- 1 bulb fennel, sliced into 1/2" pieces
- 1 apple (I used golden delicious), peeled, cored and cut into 1/2" dice
- 4 fresh sage leaves
- Pre-heat the oven to 425. I live at altitude so I have to roast my vegetables for, like, 8 hours before they are done. You may have better luck at the 40-60 minute mark.
- Mix the first 4 ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the vegetables and sage leaves and toss to coat. Alternatively, add the parsnips only and add in vegetables in the order listed above.
- Roast until vegetables are done to your liking, remove the sage leaves and serve.
- Eat and remember that the end of Summer isn't the end of the world and dream sweet dreams about ski jackets, crackling fires and hot toddies.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Root Vegetable Side