Don't you just love breakfast for dinner? Or "brinner" as my oldest calls it.
To me, brinner usually means that Husband is making his amazing blueberry pancakes and I'm off duty, a double score for me. Sometimes it means I'm frying up bacon and eggs. More recently, though, I've been whittling down my root vegetable stash by making sausage and vegetable hash. It makes fine cold- weather fare for breakfast, brunch, or brinner. It is best served with hash- browned potatoes on the side or, as Husband easily convinced me, broken up so the crispy, lacy bits mingle with the rest of the vegetables. My super-simple hash brown technique is here. In the meantime, go find yourself some squash.
Sausage and Root Vegetable Skillet Supper (with Crispy Hash Browns)
If you don't have access to these particularly delicious breakfast sausages, you can substitute high-quality ground pork mixed with a healthy dose of salt, ground sage, and black pepper, as well as a touch of cayenne and ground coriander. You could also use bacon. Feel free to omit the root vegetables you don't like and replace them with others that you do, like carrots, sweet potatoes, and rutabagas.
1/2-1 lb. farm-fresh, breakfast sausage patties
1-2 Tbsp. bacon fat (or oil, if you prefer)
1/2 butternut squash, peeled, 1/2-inch dice
1 medium turnip, peeled, 1/2-inch dice
1 medium celery root, peeled, 1/2-inch dice
2 parsnips, peeled, sides sliced off the woody core, 1/2-inch dice
1 red onion, 1/2-inch dice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large skillet, preferably cast iron, melt the fat and brown the sausage meat, breaking the patties into bite-sized pieces as you go. You want the pieces fully cooked and golden-brown on several sides. When done, remove meat and set aside. Reserve skillet (unwashed) for hash browns.
While sausage is browning, wash, peel, and chop the squash, turnip, celery root, parsnips, and onion. Combine on a large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Toss with your hands until well-coated. Roast for 40 minutes, flipping once, or until the vegetables are tender and golden.
Meanwhile, make the hash browns. Combine the vegetables, sausage, and hash browns in the skillet and brinner is served.
Source: Inspired by an adaptation of the Red Lion Inn recipe in The Boston Globe.
Local Ingredient Sources
Sausage: Chestnut Farms, Hardwick, MA
Bacon fat: From bacon from Codman Farm, Lincoln, MA
Squash, turnip, red onion, potatoes: Waltham Fields, Waltham, MA
Parsnips: Sugar Mountain Farm, Whately, MA (via Russo's)
Rosemary: My half-dead plant