Use your favorite vegetables to recreate this flavorful veggie side dish. (Photo: Shawanda Mason)

Ingredients
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  • 1½ pounds thin carrots, kept whole

  • 1½ pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes

  • 1 or 2 red onions, sliced thickly

  • 2 zucchini, sliced

  • 2 yellow squash, sliced

  • ? cup olive oil

  • 2 tsp fine sea salt

  • 2 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary

  • 1½ tbsp dry herbes de Provence

  • 1 cup pure maple syrup

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

Most folks, when they think of fall, immediately go to pumpkin-flavored everything. As someone who doesn’t get excited at the two words “pumpkin spice,” my initial food thought when fall rolls around concerns cinnamon, nutmeg and all those warming flavors. Let’s be honest, bourbon comes to mind, too. Lately, maple has also been on my brain. I’ve incorporated a little maple every now and then in recipes (like this maple bourbon cocktail), but pure maple syrup isn’t one of those pantry items that I must have. It’s expensive and it’s one of those things that I don’t always have a need for. You would think that my maple bourbon cocktail would be just enough reason for me to keep maple syrup in my cabinets, but it is not. However, ladies and gentlemen, I have now found a reason to always keep maple syrup in my house: maple balsamic roasted vegetables.

I love roasting veggies. It’s an easy, some would argue lazy, way to cook-and I’m actually OK with it being considered lazy. What’s really important is not the ease or difficulty that goes into roasting; it’s the fact that roasting makes food extra-flavorful. I’ve ranted and raved about my favorite roasted Brussels sprouts and will continue to do so because they’re the best things ever. Today’s recipe is very easy and perfect for any holiday dinners you may be hosting in the near future. The vegetables I used in this dish aren’t the only vegetables you can use. Feel free to get creative with it. The original recipe for this dish came from the blog Foodness Gracious, and the writer used a plethora of veggies that looked beautiful but aren’t my favorite. Be sure to use whatever vegetables you prefer. Soon, I’m going to try this exact maple balsamic glaze with a mixture of Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. Doesn’t that sound yummy? I can’t wait.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Place the vegetables in a bowl and add the olive oil and all the seasonings; toss to coat.

Spread the veggies out on a baking sheet. Make sure they aren’t on top of one another. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Halfway through the process, shake the pan a bit to move the vegetables around.

While the veggies are roasting, make your glaze. In a small saucepan, pour in the syrup and the balsamic vinegar; bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer until the glaze has reduced and thickened.

When the vegetables are done (they should easily break apart with a fork), drizzle some of the glaze over the veggies and return to the oven for five more minutes.

The sweet potatoes are my favorite addition to this dish. (Photo: Shawanda Mason)

Serve warm with chicken or fish. Alternatively, you could just make a huge pan of these veggies and eat them for dinner. That’s seriously how good they are-you could simply eat them by themselves.

This recipe makes quite a bit of the maple glaze. You can half the recipe or use the leftover glaze for baked chicken or another variety of roasted vegetables.

Shawanda Mason is the creator and blogger of Eat.Drink.Frolic. For recipe questions or to chat about eating, drinking or frolicking, she can be reached at [email protected] or by following her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.

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