Winter solstice marks the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the shortest day of the year with the longest period of darkness. Celebrate with a winter solstice recipe.

At this time of year many cultures celebrate with a holiday, whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Dong Zhi, Saturnalia, Yule, or pagan festivals, to name a few. These holidays may not fall on the exact same dates, but they all stem from this shift in seasons, and celebrate light in different ways.

Many of our religious traditions are modernized versions of these ancient traditions that celebrate nature and her changing seasons.

Winter solstice is a time of renewal.

It’s a perfect time for new beginnings, letting go of past negative experiences, giving up bad habits, and creating new habits, as the days begin from this point to get lighter and longer.

Celebrate with candles to represent light and evergreens to represent the Earth.

I’ll be celebrating by making a sheet pan of roasted root vegetables seasoned with rosemary, an evergreen.

Simply cut the vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, turnips, rutabaga, parsnips, sweet potato, and perhaps an onion or some shallots, into 1-inch pieces. Toss with enough olive oil to coat them, about 1/4 cup. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place a few rosemary sprigs in the mix to scent the vegetables. Roast at 425 degrees F. for 40-45 minutes or until tender, tossing halfway through.

This recipe is available in my cookbook, The Big Book of Mediterranean Diet Cooking.

You can eat the vegetables as is, or put them in a blender and then bring them to a boil with broth to make a delicious winter solstice soup.

Your house will smell amazing.

Enjoy your vegetable feast by candlelight and make wishes for the future. The next day, turn those wishes into plans by writing down a list of things you want to accomplish in the new year.

You get to create a winter solstice recipe for your table, and a recipe for your life in the coming year.

Happy solstice!