Roasted Vegetables for Thanksgiving
- November 21, 2012 |
- by Kirstin Uhrenholdt
Thanksgiving is here! And we are so grateful for… roasted vegetables! Because in the midst of all the Thanksgiving cooking conundrums, roasting a vegetable is pretty simple. With just salt, pepper, a bit of oil, and a hot oven, nearly every vegetable becomes an intensely delicious version of its former self.
On days like Thanksgiving, when the kitchen and ovens are busy, I start early in the day by filling a couple of baking sheets with vegetables that have similar cooking times. When they are done roasting, they get piled beautifully on an ovenproof platter and forgotten about until just before dinner, when they are popped into the oven to reheat while the turkey is getting ready to be carved.
Roasted Brussels sprouts on the stalk
Brussels sprouts still on the stalk makes a fine edible center piece for your table, and can be found at farmers markets and some supermarkets and are as beautiful as they are tasty! Pull off any bruised or yellow leaves, then brush every little cabbage with olive oil and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap the whole stalk tightly in tin foil then put in a 400º oven for about 45 minutes. Alternately you can put the foil wrapped stalk on a medium hot grill for 45 minutes, turning it now and then.
* Before roasting, grate a little garlic into the olive oil.
* After roasting, drizzle with a mustardy vinaigrette or a little maple syrup and pomegranate seeds.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Cut off the brown ends of the sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Toss the sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast at 400º shaking the pan now and then until browned, about 30-40 minutes. Or slice them very thin, toss them with olive oil and roast until the edges start to turn golden and crisp.
* Before roasting, toss with grated garlic, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
* After roasting, toss with a little balsamic vinegar, or a pat of butter and fresh chopped herbs, toasted hazel nuts, pine nuts or walnuts and grated zest from a lemon.
“Caramelized” sweet potatoes
Peel (or don’t peel) the sweet potatoes and slice them 1/4 inch thick. Toss them with a bit of salt and olive oil. Place them on a well-oiled or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover tightly with foil or another baking sheet. Put into a cold oven (this is important, as the gradual rise in temperature helps bring out the sweet potato flavors).
Turn on the oven to 400. Bake for about 30-40 min. Since all our ovens bake at their own pace, I leave the amount of time up to you, but they should be a beautifully dark orange and very soft. Uncover, and bake for about 20 more minutes flipping them now and then until they are caramelized on the outside, and soft and creamy on the inside.
Ever wondered the difference between a yam and a sweet potato?
Roasted Carrots or parsnips
Peel and slice carrots/parsnips into wedges. Toss them with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes at 450º or until tender with golden caramelized edges.
* Before roasting, toss with any of the following: a teaspoon of ground cumin and/or coriander, fresh chopped herbs like thyme, or rosemary, chopped garlic or shallots or 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup, orange zest and a teaspoon of cinnamon.
* After roasting, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, a dijon vinaigrette, or toss with a pat of butter and chopped parsley, dill or basil.
Believe it or not, kale is fantastic when you roast it! Take one bunch of kale and cut off the thick stems, drizzle with olive oil, a sprinkling of salt and perhaps some chopped garlic. Massage the oil into the leaves so they are well covered (this step is important if you want the kale to be crisp). Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 300º, flipping the leaves and turning the sheets until the kale is crispy, it will take about 20-25 minutes. Squeeze on plenty of lemon juice and taste for salt and pepper.
Cut any color peppers into wedges, toss with a bit of olive oil, put on the baking sheet skin side up and roast at 450º until skin is blistered and blackened about 20-30 minutes. Transfer peppers directly from the oven into a bowl and cover with tight fitting lid. Once peppers are cool, uncover bowl and peel off and discard pepper skins.
* Before roasting, toss with a few tablespoons of Hoisin sauce.
* After roasting, you can toss with chopped fresh herbs like mint, basil or parsley, balsamic vinegar or chopped pine nuts.
Cut the cauliflower into slices from top to bottom (they don’t really come out as slices but don’t worry about it). Toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until golden at 400º, for about 30 minutes, flipping the cauliflower now and then.
* Before roasting, either toss with cumin, coriander, and chopped garlic or sliced red onions, or toss with capers, raisins and parsley.
* After roasting, give it a squeeze of lemon, lemon zest, chopped fresh parsley, or grated Parmesan cheese.
Roasted Spaghetti Squash
Cut the squash in half (it helps if you microwave it for a few minutes to soften it) scrape out the seeds and squishy bits. Put the squash cut side down in a baking dish and fill with 1/2 an inch of water. Cover with foil and bake at 400º until you can easily pierce the flesh with a knife, about 40-50 minutes. Flip the squash over and with a fork gently pull out the “spaghetti strands.”
* After roasting, toss with butter, herbs and Parmesan cheese, or treat like it spaghetti, topping with your favorite sauce.