Scott JonesRecipe contributor Scott Jones is a nationally recognized food and wine expert.
During my 11 Thanksgiving seasons at Southern Living, few things perplexed readers more than what to serve alongside their big holiday bird. They were cool with the turkey (unless, of course, it was still frozen solid and guests were just around the corner). And I reckon they had dessert down, too.
But the subject of side dishes was an altogether different matter.
Home cooks seem to be stuck like chuck when it comes to fresh ideas for sides, especially those suitable for fall entertaining — Thanksgiving being autumn’s grand culminating meal. I have kids (and other picky eaters in my life), so I get that the palate of available veggies seems to be less exciting than summer’s bounty.
So here’s my solution to this side dish dilemma: Roasted Vegetable Salad. It has enough of the familiar (in the carrots, sweet potatoes, garlic) with an updated touch (serving over salad greens with feta), plus it’s kid-approved (at least by my finicky 12-year-old daughter). Oh, and it’s dead-on seasonal and good for you, too.
Longtime Hoover resident Scott Jones is the former Executive Food Editor of Southern Living. Through his company JONES IS HUNGRY (jonesishungry.com), he focuses on consumer-friendly food and wine content, recipe development and strategic culinary consulting. Jones also brings his fun, comfortable style to wine education and cooking classes tailored for both the novice and aficionado. Whether for friends, family, your best clients or corporate functions, everyone leaves feeling empowered and entertained. For more information, call 516-3487 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roasted Vegetable Salad
Line jellyroll or baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
4 large carrots, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
4 large parsnips, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/2 pound green beans, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 large red onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
5 garlic cloves, peeled
2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup bottled olive oil-and-vinegar dressing
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. horseradish
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Fresh arugula or mixed salad greens
1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Combine sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, green beans, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; toss to coat. Place vegetables in a single layer on a large, nonstick aluminum foil-lined jellyroll or baking pan.
2. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or just until tender, turning vegetables after 25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together dressing, parsley, horseradish and mustard. Place cooked vegetables in a large bowl, and drizzle with desired amount of dressing; toss gently to coat. Serve over arugula with any remaining dressing. Sprinkle with feta cheese.