I’m not planning a Thanksgiving menu this year, and coming to think of it, it’s been a few years since I did. We hosted friends and family for the big meal for several years in row, but then got into the habit of traveling for the last few Thanksgivings. I actually really like putting together a menu for such a feast, so I may have to plan on being at home next year. When I do plan the menu, I like to include at least one dish that is completely simple and that highlights the quality of some fresh vegetables. This roasted vegetable dish fits that description. I used perfectly fresh carrots, turnips, and beets from my CSA, and roasting them alone gives them incredible flavor. I upped that flavor just a bit with a quick, tangy, sweet glaze.
The carrots were cleaned and peeled, the turnips were chopped into large chunks, and the beets were left whole with skin intact for roasting. I kept each vegetable in its own area of a baking sheet so the color of the beets wouldn’t find its way onto the other items. The vegetables were drizzled with olive and seasoned with salt and pepper, and into a hot oven they went. The roasting time, of course, depends on the size of each vegetable, so start testing for tenderness after 20 minutes or so. The carrots were done first, so I removed them to a platter while the turnips and beets continued roasting. When the turnips were golden and a knife poked into them easily, I added those chunks to the platter with the carrots. I allowed the beets to cool enough to handle and then rubbed off the skins before slicing them. The glaze, for two to four servings, was made with two tablespoons of butter, two tablespoons of pure maple syrup, and one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Those three items were placed in a saucepan and stirred until the butter melted. I let it continue to cook for five minutes or so to slightly thicken. Then, it was spooned over the vegetables on the platter.
I like the look of separate piles of each vegetable, so the colors were grouped on the platter. Some butternut squash chunks would have been good here too, and the mix could be as diverse or as simple as you choose. You could even roast the vegetables in advance and then just warm them in the oven before serving. The glaze goes so well with the caramelized roasted vegetables, and it’s so easy to make and worry-free, it’s one of my favorites.