Thanksgiving is likely looking a little different this year, particularly when it comes to the gathering aspect that this traditional holiday entails.
With that, many are scaling down their meal plans, preparing smaller portions and in some cases, ordering out a pre-set meal.
In our house, we will still be preparing most of our favorites, including turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and a side of roasted veggies. That mashed sweet potato dish with the melted marshmallows never quite makes the cut. This combination of dishes together is really only enjoyed at our house once a year, with leftover turkey sandwiches, soup and warmed-up plates throughout the week all part of the tradition.
For the roasted veggies, Brussels sprouts are my favorite, but I usually incorporate a diverse assortment of vegetables all in one tray.
As I rounded the farmers’ market in anticipation of my roasted vegetable dish, I encountered these stunning heads of purple cauliflower, which would surely be making the cut.
One of the great aspects of this fun find is the purple color will remain present through the cooking process, making for a nice presentation on the table. I also scored some late season eggplant, two types of sweet potato, orange and yellow carrots and, of course, the Brussels sprouts.
I also grabbed a bunch of fresh thyme, an herb that will be used in both this vegetable dish as well as some of my other Thanksgiving preparations. Once the leaves are removed from the sprigs, I like to presoak them in olive oil before tossing with the vegetables for a nice well-rounded earthy flavor throughout.
Thyme-infused Roasted Vegetables
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 head purple cauliflower, florets cut into half-inch pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into half-inch pieces
1 pound smaller size Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cleaned (if large cut in half)
2 small sweet potatoes, ends trimmed, cleaned and cut into half inch pieces.
1 Chinese or Japanese eggplant, cut into half inch pieces Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the fresh thyme leaves and olive oil and let them sit while you prep your other vegetables.
Place all vegetables in a large bowl and add 2-3 tablespoons of your thyme and olive oil mixture, seasoning liberally with salt and pepper. Toss until well incorporated. Place in a roasting dish and cook for about 40 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through or reach desired tenderness.
Yield: Serves 6 sides.