Not long ago, it dawned on me that some of my favorite holidays happen to be in the fall. Maybe it's that growing up, we didn't have as many holidays as we do here or maybe it's the whole getting two days off work for Turkey day thing or maybe it's the beautiful season itself. Either way, fall holidays, yeah!
Thanksgiving was the second holiday I celebrated upon moving to the US (after Halloween). I was clueless what it actually represented and only knew that there was a whole lot of eating involved. Big feasts were not uncommon, since my family gathered nearly every Sunday for a big meal. But unclear of the details, since I spoke little to no english, I distinctly recall eating a funny looking round vegetable that looked like a shrunken cabbage.
I had never before seen brussels sprouts and wasn't particularly fond of the taste. I recall them being rather bland and served with a drippy yellow sauce.
But I don't think the bland brussels sprouts were what stood out from that Thanksgiving. I'll just paint a quick little picture for you. There I was, 14, sitting at a table with my 6 year old brother, my mom and my new step family who I had just met for the first time 5 weeks prior. I'll have to save that story for another time and talk about my crazy life of rooting and uprooting. But for now, let's get back to these veggies.
I don't recall having particularly awesome memories of Thanksgiving for the first few years. And don't recall the food being spectacular either, but as the years wore on and I became more American, Thanksgiving really grew on me and so did my love for brussels sprouts.
These days, I love them, especially around this time of year when I gravitate towards earthy, grounding and warm foods. I like combining them with other root veggies as they marry well. A lotta love happens when these guys get together and magic happens in the oven. I found purple carrots at my farmers market, which worked beautifully in this dish but if you can't find purple, use good old regular carrots. As you see I used both.
Roasted vegetables are a great addition to any Thanksgiving table. And if I've learned anything about Thanksgiving, is that sides rule! Turkey is mehhh but sides - that's what I look forward to.
Carrots, parsnips, brussels sprouts, thyme and rosemary, mixed with the sweetness of apple are simply tossed on a roasting sheet with olive or avocado oil and there you have it!
roasted root vegetables
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Roasting time: 35-40 minutes
6 medium carrots cut into bite size pieces
3 large parsnips or 4 medium cut into bite size pieces
20 small Brussels sprouts or 15 medium
1 large apple cut into bite size pieces
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1-2 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dry
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tbsp olive or avocado oil
*Cut all vegetables about the same size so they roast evenly. *Also, if you're making these for a larger crowd, double up on the ingredients and use several roasting sheets.
1-2 roasting sheets
Preheat oven to 375°. Line roasting sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients and toss together well until completely coated with oil. Roast on middle rack for 35-40 minutes until fork tender. If you want the veggies softer, feel free to leave them for another 5 minutes.
When finished roasting, add veggies to serving platter. Optional - drizzle with an additional olive oil if you wish and top with a sprinkle of fresh thyme.