When I was growing up, autumn squash was always popular in my home. My father, who is of Armenian heritage, loved eating the squash’s flesh and relished coaxing the seeds from its shell after they were freshly roasted. This traybake combines an assortment of harvest vegetables and pork sausages for a cornucopia of flavour.
Note: Don’t feel chained to my composition of produce; use what you like, but be sure that you cut the vegetables to a size that will complete cooking at the same time as the sausages; altogether, there is about a 35–40-minute cooking time. Serves 4 to 6.
Kale Pesto Ingredients
3 cups fresh kale, chopped
½ cup almonds, blanched and toasted
½ cup Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar (or Parmesan), grated
Zest from one lemon (about a teaspoon)
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 lb baby potatoes, halved
1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
2 cups sliced or cubed autumn squash
3 bulbs garlic, tops cut off
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes or 2 sprigs of cherry tomatoes on their stem
6 sausages, use your favourite variety
A selection of hardy herbs like sage, rosemary and thyme, about 8 sprigs total
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F
In a large bowl, toss all the vegetables in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the vegetables on a large parchment-lined baking sheet allowing for space around the ingredients.
Place the sausages evenly spaced over the vegetables and bake for 25 minutes.
While the food is cooking in the oven, make the pesto.
To make the pesto, place the chopped fresh kale and toasted almonds in a food processor and pulse 7-10 times. Add Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar, lemon zest, garlic, and pulse again several times. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the food processor and pulse again. With the food processor running, slowly stream in the olive oil. Remove to a storage container, stir in lemon juice, salt, and pepper, adjusting amounts to taste.
After 25 minutes, toss the vegetables around and flip the sausages over to ensure even cooking and caramelization.
Continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes. Depending on your oven and the size of your baking tray, it may be done sooner, or it may take a little bit longer. You want the sausages to be cooked through and the vegetables to be cooked with some caramelization.
Serve the traybake with kale pesto.
Chef ILona Daniel is Harrowsmith’s Food Editor and the founder of Tribe Fresh Events and Consulting, a purpose-driven insights consultancy accelerated by modern approaches to the hospitality industry, immersive experiences, and community and culture development. She has worked on projects around the world and is on the Board of Directors for the Tourism Association of PEI. Chef Ilona is a media personality, and a Culinary Instructor at the Culinary Institute of Canada.