Thanksgiving is less than 10 days away!!
Do you already know what you are going to make? If so, great!! But wait! I think I hear something knocking.
Oh hey, hello there! Recipe how are you doing?! Come on in! I hope you don’t mind I invited this over as it’s been marinating a bit. And, I think it should be ready to go! 😀
I made this last Thanksgiving and it was so good I’ve made it several times since.
On a 1 to 10 scale in terms of flavor and complexity this ranks a 10. I have never made anything as complex as this and have yet to come across something I can compare it to.
Whether you want to impress your family, your dog or the pool man. This could be the recipe of the year. Just make sure to leave the window open so the pool man can smell you cooking.
I originally came across this recipe in Bon Appetit’s 2015 Thanksgiving issue. From which, I made a few dishes, all of which were winners. So shout out to Bon Appetit for that ! Now let’s deconstruct and see what makes this work it’s magic.
Roasted Carrots, Onion, and Fennel with a Spiced Sherry Vinaigrette Deconstructed
- Mint: The first time I made this I did not have mint unfortunately. The mint takes this dish to a whole new level. I did not know what I was missing until I made it the second time.
- You not only get a hint of mint flavor, but also the menthol aromas when you break those little leaves in your mouth.
- If you don’t like mint, don’t worry. It is not a dominant flavor at all. If you use as much as I did, you’ll only get a tiny taste every other bite at most.
- If you love mint, you can always keep some on the side and add more! NOTE: If you want a real unique flavor use chocolate mint instead of regular spearmint. Chocolate mint has a very distinct flavor and I like how it goes with the smoked paprika. I think they should get married.
- Fennel: The other thing that I have since changed is increasing the fennel and decreasing the red onion. I love red onion, but I also love fennel. I think the fennel forms the base flavor of the dish along with the spiced vinaigrette. So I roasted fennel and red onion in about equal proportions.
- Carrots: The carrots, to me, act more as the ‘filler’ or the vehicle for all the other delicious goodies on this plate.
- The original recipe calls for regular carrots but I like the different flavors of tri-color or Rainbow carrots so I have used those ever since.
- They provide a sweet contrast to the salty/sour/spice of the vinaigrette
- Spiced Sherry Vinaigrette:
- Coriander – this is the aromatic backbone to the vinaigrette. Crush your coriander seeds thoroughly to get as much flavor out as possible. I used my knife and smashed them.
- Red pepper- I know the original recipe said to use Aleppo pepper, but I’m trying not to buy any new spices. My spice cabinet has too much in it, so I settled for red pepper. I am sure Aleppo pepper would add another dimension so will consider buying it in the future
- Sunflower seeds add a nutty dimension and firm texture to each bite. Would not leave or substitute these out.
- Lemon juice- provides additional acidity and another dimensino of flavor to all the spices
- Sherry Vinegar-dark, sour, tart. I could see how using another vinegar like red wine would work as well. But would stay away from anything sweet.
- Temperature- The original recipe says to allow things to cool off. But I think if possible you should try to serve this as warm as possible. It tastes great at room temperature, but to me tastes even better warm!
- I know at Thanksgiving it can be difficult to eat everything hot, but consider keeping it in a warm oven until ready to serve.
- You could even cheat and make this ahead and just microwave it. But you might be tempted to eat it all before the time comes!!
As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.
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Roasted Carrots, Onion, and Fennel with a Spiced Sherry Vinaigrette
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 people 1x
- Category: side
- Cuisine: New American
- 1.5 whole red onions (cut into wedges ~ 1/2in)
- 1.5 bulbs fennel (cut into wedges~ 1/2in)
- 2 pounds carrots (tricolor or ‘Rainbow’ peeled and quartered to 1/2 in thickness)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for roasting)
- salt and freshly ground pepper (for the veggies)
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (raw)
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (crushed)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (use less if you dont like spicy)
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 1.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- fresh cracked pepper (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons chocolate mint leaves (or spearmint)
- Preheat oven to 425°. Place carrots on a rimmed baking sheet and onions and fennel on another sheet. Drizzle each with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Do not crowd otherwise the veggies will steam each other and not roast well. Use more than one sheet if necessary.
- Roast and mix at least once, preferably twice until golden brown and tender. Approximately 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook sunflower seeds, coriander seeds, red pepper, smoked paprika, and 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a small pan on medium heat. Mix well and cook for no more than 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add vinegar and lemon juice. Add some fresh cracked pepper and stir.
- Once vegetables are roasted combine them all into a bowl and mix. Drizzle vinaigrette and add mint. Mix thoroughly and serve!
Garnish with additional mint.
In the photos I used Pyrex glass to do the roasting. Rule of thumb for glass is to decrease the temperature by 25 degrees. Otherwise they will roast much faster than you want!