Every year for Thanksgiving we let each of our guests choose ONE dish they would like on the table. This can be a bit overwhelming when prepping so many dishes as our family grows, but it’s a tradition I grew up with and gives each person at least one thing they are “thankful” for on the table.
This year my vegan brother responded with, “roasted root vegetables – with beets.” Oh goodness, half my family hates beets. I responded with, “Mom is going to be mortified, but if that’s you’re wish…” Normally we just roast Brussels sprouts, so we knew we needed to add them in for fear of riot. But as I got to thinking I realized that my mom (and many non-beet lovers) had tried and enjoyed our Fauxmato Sauce, so we went with the same types of flavors here. By adding in butternut squash and sweet onion that caramelize while being roasted, it brings a more sweet, velvety taste that’s less earthy (or as my mom calls it, “tastes like dirt”) to the dish.
In fact, my father told me it was the best dish of our Thanksgiving dinner – and that it was the best meal he’d ever had at our home. That’s how much he loved these veggies! The kids scarfed them up, too. But, if your kids REFUSE to eat any of these veggies (after they’ve tried a bite, of course – because taste buds shed their skin like snakes and you never know what you’ll like from day to day!), you could always sub out whatever else they do enjoy instead.
The magic of the dish is not only in the caramelization of the vegetables turning sweet when they go soft and browned – but also in the balsamic vinegar added at the end. We recommend a VERY good one for this dish – one you’d put on your salad or could lick off your fingers. You want something very dark and almost syrupy.
And, if you buy your veggies pre-prepped there’s practically NO work to roasted veggies. They’re our favorite way to prepare vegetables – and also the easiest. Toss in oil with seasoning, cook until soft and browned. In this case, the dish is elevated with a drizzle of rich balsamic vinegar – but don’t let that fool you, it’s still a one-pan-dish you can double or triple to have around. It’s a fantastic addition to breakfast (just put an egg on it) or to make ahead to serve with protein later in the week!
- 3 C Brussels sprouts, ends and outer leaves removes, larger ones cut in half
- 3 C beets, ends removed, peeled, and cubed (about 3-4 medium beets)
- 3 C butternut squash, peeled and cubed (a fairly small butternut squash)
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
- 2-3 Tbsp avocado oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp sage leaves, chopped
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Place vegetables on a large baking tray. Coat with oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat completely.
- Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until they caramelized.
- Remove from the oven and toss in sage and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve warm as a side dish, or keep in the fridge to give to Stacy as lunch for a week.
Balsamic is a sweet vinegar made from white wine grapes and aged in barrels. There is a ton of controversy over balsamic because there's a ton of cheap imitation balsamics for sale in every grocery store. Not to be all Ina Garten about it, but, ideally, you'd try to find "Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena" instead of the imitations that have added sugars and emulsifiers and thickeners to impersonate the real stuff. Of course, that's pricey, so, as the queen of the Hamptons would say, store-bought is fine.