November is just a few days away and I am in the thick of holiday planning. My conversations are focused on what we will be assigning, how many desserts we really need, how many batches of gravy (spaghetti sauce) I prepare in advance, etc. This weekend was all about experimenting with my family’s gravy recipe. I had an outline of what was supposed to be included and had to tweak it by taste to come up with the final solution. The great thing about family recipes is that they’re handed down over generations. The bad thing is that no one ever actually writes the recipes down so it’s a giant guessing game until you create your own version of it. My recipe will never be the same as my great-grandfather’s but it gives the memory of his gravy a nod and takes on my own personal twist. For one...I will never cook a pot of gravy without a Parmesan cheese rind. Ever. That should be a cardinal rule unless you have a severe dairy allergy.
Today’s recipe is hardly holiday or pasta focused but it would make a lovely side to a Thanksgiving dinner! We’re still eating as usual during weeknight dinners with cozier meals on the weekends that take longer to cook up. One of my favorite fall dinners is a roasted pork tenderloin with a side of roasted vegetables. They can both cook up in about the same time and it’s a nice comforting dinner for weekdays or weekends. There's a little bit of prep work but then nothing more after that. The oven does the rest. I’ve shared plenty of pork tenderloin recipes in the past you can find in the recipe index or check out the most recent one: Maple Roasted Pork Tenderloin. It would actually work phenomenally with this roast veggie recipe. The one in the photos was prepared very simple. I seasoned it well with salt and pepper and then seared it the tenderloins on each side in a cast-iron skillet with a little bit of olive oil. After they seared, I popped the whole thing in the oven to finish cooking.
Brussels sprouts and beets are two different vegetables that can get a bad rep from picky eaters but they’re a dynamite combination together. Season with salt and pepper, toss with maple syrup, olive oil and apple cider vinegar, and finish off with a few pinches of red pepper flakes and you’ve got yourself a winner. The maple syrup caramelizes on the brussels sprouts adding a nice crunchy texture and the heat from the red pepper cuts the sweetness for a great balance. Make sure the beets are cut into small enough pieces to cook in the same amount of time as the brussels sprouts. The sprouts that I bought from the farmers market were pretty big so I cut them in half lengthwise. On the contrary, the beets were smaller so I was able to halve them and then cut them into wedges for easy roasting. The size combination worked together well but if you’re finding that you have smaller sized sprouts, leave them whole so that they do not overcook. Happy roasting!
Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Beets
4 tbsp. Maple Syrup
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1lb. Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
3 small Beets, peeled and cut into wedges
Salt & Pepper
1 - Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Add the brussels sprouts and beets and toss.
2 - Spread the veggie mix onto the baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes until the sprouts are tender and crispy and the beets are fork tender. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.
3 - Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve.