Thanks Giving Roasted Vegetables
A little after the fact but still relevant because it’s seasonal. We celebrated Thanks Giving with family here in Kelowna and I was asked to bring vegetables for about 20 people. Vegetables are my “thing” so I was happy to help with that dish. I had in mind a large dish of roasted vegetables, mixing a variety of fall vegetables – roots, squashes and others – and roasting them with olive oil, salt and a few herbs. This would make a beautiful and colourful dish that should go nicely with whatever else is on the Thanks Giving menu.
Dinner was on Saturday evening so in the morning G and I went to the local market to pick up the produce. I generally know what is in season but I go to the market with an open mind to pick the best they have to offer that day. I wanted a fairly large variety of vegetables so I was happy to look around.
Whenever I go to our local market I head first to Sunshine Farms vegetable stand on the corner to see what they have, as their produce is of such high quality, grown with integrity mostly from heirloom seeds. I was happy to see Jon and his son manning the stand although missed seeing Sher who is there some of the time. This was Sunshine’s last day at the market, catering the rest of the season to restaurants only. I picked up a few bags of multi coloured potatoes and small, fat rainbow carrots, some dark purple with bright orange interior mixed with a few yellow and a few orange coloured ones. They also had various small onions, round purplish turnips, tender salad greens and of course herbs. I piled the loot into my market basket and continued shopping at other stalls. Giant red and yellow peppers, long parsnips, small white skinned potatoes, brussels sprouts still on the stem, a few heads of garlic, acorn squash and a few cute sweet dumpling squashes. I have herbs in my garden and this was promising to be a lovely and varied grilled vegetable dish.
Before we left the market we stopped at the French Crepe Bistro ( a market stall with a fancy name). The French owners make large, thin crepes including dark and mysterious buckwheat crepes. G had a breakfast crepe filled with scrambled egg and cheese. I opted for the classic sugar and lemon crepes although I could have ordered three servings. One disappeared much too quickly. It’s fun to sit at the market with a steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee and watch the going on.
I am not providing specific quantities, it’s not that kind of recipe. Get whatever vegetables you find aiming for variety. Here are the vegetables that I used this time:
- Coloured carrots cut in half, skin on. Leave about an inch of the carrot top on.
- Parsnips, cut in half.
- Red and yellow peppers cut into segments and then into thick strips,
- Small onions, peeled and cut in half.
- Brussels sprouts, left whole or cut in half.
- Small potatoes, white or red skinned.
- Turnips peeled and cut into chunks.
- A couple of squash varieties (acorn and sweet dumpling squash) cut into wedges. The sweet dumpling does not need to be peeled.
- 4-5 whole garlic heads. Cut the stem end of the garlic off to expose the cloves inside.
Line a large baking sheet with foil and heat the oven to 400F on roast setting.
Cook the vegetables in groups, grouping the ones that take a similar amount of time to cook.
The peppers, onions and brussels sprouts can be cooked together.
The carrots and parsnips can be cooked together.
The potatoes and turnips can be cooked together.
The squashes can be cooked together.
Toss each vegetable group with olive oil. Add salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar.
Place one group of veggies on the baking sheet, spreading them around.
Place the garlic in a piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil and add a couple of thyme or rosemary springs. Wrap the foil around the garlic making it into a sealed packet. Place alongside the vegetables on the baking sheet.
Roast in 400F until they are just tender. Repeat with remaining vegetables. You can double up on the trays and cook on two levels of your oven, but be sure to switch the sheets around once during the cooking. Most will take about 15 minutes to cook so in about an hour they will all be cooked.
Once the vegetables are done pile them onto a beautiful shallow serving dish, alternating varieties and colours.
Sprinkle a handful of fresh herbs on top and garnish with a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary.
The vegetables can be cooked in advance and reheated in the oven for a few minutes.