I am often asked for suggestions for Thanksgiving side dishes.  This recipe for roasted  autumn vegetables is one of my favorite side dishes to make for Thanksgiving and other festive autumn and winter get-togethers.  It has a beautiful array or autumn tastes, textures, and colors and is a great accompaniment to turkey, chicken, or beef.  And, with its combination of carotenoid (sweet potatoes and carrots) and cruciferous (Brussels sprouts and cauliflower) vegetables, this dish is actually healthy, so feel free take seconds. Happy Thanksgiving!


  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 4 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 inch-chunks
  • 10 white pearl onions*
  • 10 red pearl onions
  • 10 small red potatoes
  • 10 small yellow potatoes
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes (about 2 potatoes), acorn squash or butternut squash or a mixture of 2 or all 3, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks**
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 12 Brussels  sprouts, trimmed
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets with flat surfaces
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 tablespoons, fresh parsley, chives, or thyme or a combination of 2 or all, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper

Before you begin, make sure to have on hand 2 large roasting pans, sprayed with Pam or brushed with oil.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, place carrots, parsnips, white and red pearl onions. Add the red and yellow potatoes to the bowl.  If the potatoes are small—1 to 2 inches—it is okay to leave them whole.  If they are larger, cut them into halves or quarters.  Add the garlic and sweet potatoes or squash to the bowl.

Toss the vegetables in the bowl with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place vegetables in a large roasting pan and roast for about 40 minutes, flipping the vegetables midway through their cooking time.  About 10 minutes before the vegetables are done, place little bits of the butter or margarine on the vegetables, and pour on about 2 tablespoons of wine.

Fill a medium saucepan with water, bring to a boil, and blanch the Brussels sprouts for 2 minutes.  Drain Brussels sprouts, then cut them in half.  Toss Brussels sprouts in a small mixing bowl with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Brush the cauliflower with about 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place Brussels sprouts and cauliflower on the second large roasting pan and place in the oven about 20 minutes, turning once.

When all the vegetables are done, place them in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle on the parsley, chives or thyme, salt and pepper, and toss all together gently.

Place the roasted vegetables on a festive holiday platter.

Serves 8 to 10.

Essex Fells Magazine

November 2013


* I like to buy pearl onions that are already peeled.  You can find them in Shop Rite or Kings.

** To save time, you can buy precut and peeled sweet potatoes or squash at Shop Rite or Kings.