Fall has finally arrived, and with the cooler temperatures, we turn to fall recipes with their warm savory flavors and deep colors. In this Dash, I want to share one of my new favorites from the very talented Darren Atkins, executive chef and proprietor of the Burlington, North Carolina-based il Centro Kitchen. Part neighborhood specialty shop – where you can find fresh, seasonal “daily provisions” of prepared foods – and part upscale catering business, stepping into il Centro feels like a visit to an authentic Italian town.
Darren and his wife, Jan, are dear friends who joined us in Charlotte recently for a dinner party that Darren catered. Members will enjoy the full menu, including Darren’s divine Porchetta with Salsa Verde, in the fall newsletter, but we want to share his Roasted Fall Vegetables with all of our followers here. It takes my standard mix of butternut squash, parsnips, and carrots to new heights with more flavor and color.
Enjoy this Dash of Effortless Entertaining goodness!
Roasted Fall Vegetables
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 anchovies, finely chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Juice of 3 lemons
¾ cup olive oil
5 heirloom carrots (yellow, gold, orange) peeled and halved lengthwise
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered
3 beets, peeled and quartered
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
5 parsnips, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 turnip, peeled and quartered
1 red onion, peeled and quartered
¼–½ cup olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp chopped sage
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
¼–½ cup Pecorino Romano, shaved
To make vinaigrette, whisk ingredients except olive oil. Add olive oil slowly, whisking to combine.
In a large bowl, toss all vegetables except beets with olive oil and kosher salt. In a separate bowl, toss beets with olive oil and kosher salt.
Place beets on a sheet pan and roast at 400° until crispy on outside and easily pierced with a paring knife, about 45 min. Place other vegetables on a sheet pan and roast at 400° for 30 min until golden. Toss vegetables with vinaigrette and chopped herbs. Serve on platter topped with beets, toasted pumpkin seeds, and shaved pecorino Romano.
- Vinaigrette may be prepared up to two days in advance.
- Vegetables may be prepped earlier in the day. Submerge carrots and parsnips in water to prevent browning. Pat dry before tossing with olive oil.
Don’t be put off by the anchovy! As Darren explains, anchovy is the “secret sauce” in seasoning. It’s added to enhance the flavor, but no one knows it’s there. You can’t taste it, but it makes all the other ingredients taste better.
SOURCES & RESOURCES
il Centro Kitchen and Catering
As much as I love to cook, it was inspiring to open my kitchen to Darren Atkins. Our guests raved and went back for seconds, leaving very few leftovers for Mr. EE and me to enjoy the next day! Darren caters for private and corporate clients throughout North Carolina. You can also visit his shop and carry out from his case and freezer selections. If you’re in the Burlington area, stop by . . . you’ll be glad you did!
il Centro Kitchen and Catering
3290 South Church Street
Burlington, North Carolina 27215
Members, look for your next My Effortless Entertaining newsletter mailed to your door soon . . .
Fall Porchetta Dinner
- Tuscan Bean Dip
- Porchetta with Salsa Verde
- Roasted Fall Vegetables
- Mixed Lettuces with Sherry Vinaigrette
- Rosemary Bread
- Gelato with Berries and Chocolate Sauce