Roasted Papaya and Veggies
This versatile recipe can be used with countless variations. Cut vegetables about the same size to achieve even roasting. This recipe takes a bit of time, but the final product is worth it.
- 4 garlic cloves
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 ripe papayas, cut in half and de-seeded
- 4 teaspoons brown sugar + more if needed
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash
- 2 cups cubed sweet potatoes
- 4-6 cherry tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup sliced onions or leeks
- 4-6 white mushrooms, sliced
- Balsamic vinegar
Sauce (a variation on a classic Béchamel Sauce):
- 2 Tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose wheat flour
- 1 cup almond milk or any other milk
- 1 Tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- 2-4 Tablespoons nutritional yeast, to taste
- 2-4 teaspoons cayenne pepper, to taste
- Parsley leaves (optional)
- Lime wedges (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Create a little bag with foil to hold the garlic cloves. Pour 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in the bag and season with salt and pepper. Cinch the top tightly and place directly on oven rack. Roast the garlic 15 minutes before adding any more vegetables.
- While garlic is roasting, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Brush a small amount of olive oil over the papaya fruit (not the skin). Sprinkle 4 teaspoons brown sugar, salt and pepper evenly inside each papaya half. Place the papayas facing down on a large foil-lined baking sheet. Spread the butternut squash and sweet potatoes on the same sheet, leaving room for the rest of the vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. With tongs, gently move garlic bag from oven rack to the same baking sheet. Place baking sheet in oven and roast for 15 minutes.
- Remove baking sheet and add tomatoes (facing down), onions and mushrooms. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes. Return to oven to roast for another 15 minutes.
- As vegetables roast, prepare the sauce. Heat butter (or oil) in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly whisk in the flour. Reduce heat to low while whisking constantly for about 3 minutes, or until mixture turns a tan color and has a syrupy consistency.
- Still whisking, slowly add milk in small amounts. Continue whisking (to avoid any lumps) until mixture thins out. Raise temperature to medium-low, whisk in the Worcestershire sauce and let cook until the mixture thickens (about 5-10 minutes). Once thickened, turn heat to low and whisk in lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Remove tray from oven and set oven to broil. Carefully flip over papaya halves. Using tongs, divide roasted vegetables evenly among the four papaya halves. Spoon sauce over papaya halves to fully cover vegetables. Sprinkle nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper evenly over each papaya. Return to oven and let broil for about 5 minutes or until mixture begins to darken and bubble.
- Remove from oven and let cool for about a minute. Dab off excess oil. Move papayas to serving plates and garnish with brown sugar, parsley leaves, and lime slices (optional). Serve and enjoy!