For a simple to make Thanksgiving side dish, I gave Ina Garten's Roasted Thanksgiving Vegetables a try. This recipe from the Barefoot Contessa combines buttery fingerling potatoes, seasonal Brussels sprouts, and tasty fennel. Roasting the veggies creates some amazing flavors.
Preparing the Thanksgiving meal can be an overwhelming process, especially if you haven't done it before.
One of the best things to have for your survival is a simple side dish that will be easy to make yet deliver on flavor.
Roasted vegetables it is.
Roasting brings out such great flavors in vegetables it's a wonder why we ever bother preparing them any other.
One side dish recipe I suggest is one I recently tried out - Ina Garten's Thanksgiving Oven-Roasted Vegetables. This is a combination of potatoes, fennel, and Brussels sprouts.
Thanksgiving Timeline Tip
If you plan accordingly you can pull the turkey from the oven and immediately put the veggies in the oven. Once you have given the turkey it's time to rest and carve, the vegetables will be coming out of the oven and to your guests' plates pipping hot.
How to Prepare the Vegetables
Here is how I prepare the vegetables to be ready for roasting.
Starting with the fennel, cut off the tops. You can save the fronds and use them as an herb. It would be great in stuffing. Or you can even chop it up and put some on top of this dish.
The recipe called for 2 small fennel bulbs. Most of the fennel I find in the store tends to be larger in size. So I just usually got for one bulb of fennel and then cut it into about 6 pieces. I separate some of the layers for roasting so that it's more evenly distributed.
For the fingerling potatoes (or you can use any small potatoes), I cut them in half, length wise. Purple potatoes would make a pretty dish as well.
The last bag I bought of fingerling potatoes had different sized potatoes. If you have ones that are really small like you can see in the bottom left of the step 4, then just leave those whole. I had one that was especially large than I ended up quartering.
Trim any tough stems off the Brussels Sprouts and then slice them in half. I got some Brussels Sprouts on the Stalk from Trader Joe's.
How to Roast the Vegetables
Roast the veggies at 425 degrees.
I cook them on two separate sheet pans as the Brussels will finish before the fennel and potatoes (which I combine on the same pan). You can serve it all out of the same bowl in the end.
Drizzle with a good tasting olive oil (yes it matters) before roasting. Or maybe you got some leftover bacon fat from breakfast that you could drizzle on. I am not saying that I have done this before, but I am not saying that I haven't either 🙂
Brussels sprouts cooked much faster than the fennel and potatoes. At the 20 minute mark they were ready to be pulled from the oven. The leaves in my sprouts were more open, less dense, so I think that helped them cook faster as well as helping them crisp up really nicely.
The potatoes and fennel were finished roasting at about the 40 minute mark.
My Thoughts on this Recipe
I wasn't sure how I was going to like the fennel with my potatoes, but it all worked together perfectly fine - besides I found myself just eating the individual vegetable. It was a nice contrast in flavor and texture with each bite.
Other Side Dishes to Make this Thanksgiving
Buttery Roasted Carrots (with or without Parsnips)
Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Ina Garten's Thanksgiving Roast Vegetables
- 1 large fennel bulb or 2 small bulbs
- 1 pound fingerling potatoes
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- olive oil
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- Remove the fronds from the fennel. You can save to use later or chop up some of the fronds and sprinkle it on top of the potatoes for more flavor.
- Quarter the fennel bulbs. Pull apart the layers and set aside.
- Cut the fingerling potatoes in half, length wise. If you have potatoes that are small, you can leave them whole. If you have some large ones, quarter those ones instead.
- Trim the ends of the Brussels Sprouts and slice them in half.
- Place the fennel and potatoes on one sheet pan and the Brussels sprouts on another sheet pan.
- Drizzle both pans with olive oil. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Roast for 40-45 minutes til the potatoes are cooked through (you can easily pierce with a fork), checking after 20 minutes on the Brussels sprouts.
- Combine everything into a large bowl and serve hot.
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