It is officially fall in Texas (U.S.A) and Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. When I think of fall and winter I think of roasted root veggies.
This dish is one of that I have been making the last four or five years for Thanksgiving Day. My family loved it so much the first year I made it they started requesting these veggies for Thanksgiving Day dinner every year. The best part is that it can be made the day before, cooled, and reheated the next day, which is the way I like to do it.
The recipe(ish) below can be customized to your tastes, I’ve provided optional additions and two different vinaigrette recipes to choose from.
- Chopping Board
- Sharp Knife
- Large Ziploc Bags
- Large Sheet Pan
- Foil and or Silpat
- Large Portable Container
Seasonings, Herbs, and Oil (to taste)
- Avocado Oil
- Black Pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Dried Thyme
- Dried Sage
- Dried Rosemary
- Optional: Red Pepper Flakes
- Brussels Spouts
- Butter Nut Squash (pre-cut) or Sweet Potatoes or Yams
Optional Root Veggies:
The thought process behind the add-ins below: bacon = saltiness, cranberries = sweetness/tartness, pecans = bitter/sweetness, roasted garlic = umami/richness. These flavor profiles combine with the vinaigrette of your choice, which includes a tart/tangy component of the vinegar and sweetness of the maple syrup, hits all the taste buds, it balances out so well.
Add-Ins After Roast, Before Serving (use some or all of these):
- Pre-roasted Garlic Cloves (from olive bar)
- Dried Cranberries
- Pecans Halves (halved)
- Pre-cook Crispy Bacon
Bacon Tip: Use ½ to 1 whole pkg of bacon. When still raw, pull a stack of 4 or 5 slices at a time, cut the bacon in ½ to 1 inch pieces with a very sharp knife. Once cut, put in the pan to fry to crispy-goodness. I like to add garlic powder to it when cooking.
At this point in the recipe(ish), I bet you are wondering where the recipe is…..?? Well, here is the thing….I do not know how many people you are cooking for. The more people you have the more veggies you’ll need, the less people you have the less veggies you’ll need. So, the amount of veggies you cook is up to you and how many guest you are serving.
Vinaigrette Option 1:
- ¼ Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
- ¼ Cup of Maple Syrup (Grade B or Grade A)
Vinaigrette Option 2:
- ¼ Cup of Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tbs of Olive Oil
- 1 Tbs of Maple Syrup or Honey
- 1 or 2 tsp of Dijon Mustard
- Salt (to taste)
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
With the vinaigrette amounts, if you are making a whole bunch of veggies, you may have to double these recipes to get an adequate amount to have a good coverage and moistness.
- The key to the recipe is to cut your veggies all the same size. I prefer to cut them between ½” and 1” cubes-ish shapes. This will allow them to all cook at the same rate and evenly.
- Use Ziploc bags to oil and season your veggies in. This allows for even distribution of oil and seasoning. Also, you can throw them away instead of cleaning a bowl (wasteful, yes; environmentally friendly, no; easy and fast, yes).
I like an easy clean-up situation, so I suggest using heavy duty foil to cover the sheet pan, then I place a Silpat
on top to avoid aluminum from leaching into the food. But, if you just use foil, no biggie, use one layer of heavy duty first then a layer of non-stick foil on the top, for obvious reasons.
Pre-heat the oven to 375° or 400° depending on how hot your oven runs.
Cut your veggies. Place them in the Ziploc bag(s). Add your oil (enough to coat but not too much to look super oily), close the bags and mush around for even distribution. Yes, mush is a technical cooking term, right?! Open the bags and add the spices and herbs, re-close the bags, and shake and mush again to make sure the seasonings are evenly distributed.
Dump the Ziploc bags’ contents onto the pre-foiled and pre-lined sheet pan. Make sure the veggies are laying in one single layer.
Cook time will vary based on how many veggies you are using. Stir the veggies every 20 minutes. As you reach about 40 minutes of cook time, use a fork to check the softness of each veggie. When they become tender, if you have convection functionality, I suggest using that function to get a nice caramelization and crisp edges on the veggies. If you do not, which I do not, you can either continue to cook until they reach the desired caramelization or kick-up the temperature by 25 additional degrees to speed up the process. Continue to stir them every 15 minutes after they are soft.
If you find during the cooking and stirring process the veggies are getting dry, add pads of butter and stir in before putting it back in the oven.
Once the veggies are soft yet caramelized and crisp around the edges, now is the time to pull them out of the oven. If you are making and eating the same day, then mix in the vinaigrette and your “add-ins” and serve.
Done. Eat. Enjoy.
If you are going to warm them up the next day, pull them out of the oven and place somewhere to cool down (I use a small fan to speed up the cooling process). Once cool dump the veggies in an air-tight container and place in the refrigerator. Then put your prepped add-ins and vinaigrette in the fridge to assemble the next day.
Done. Eat. Enjoy.