Some of my most favorite dishes are made up of the simplest flavors. For instance, take caprese, a classic Italian insalata. It’s just tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. But when you use ripe and juicy tomatoes, fresh bufala mozzarella, and sweet, anise-y basil, it’s not just an ordinary salad. It’s a beautiful combination of flavors and textures that satisfy the palate on every level. If you want to check out my take on caprese, check out my Caprese Skewers with Basil Spinach Pesto.
Roasted Root Vegetables with Thyme is another delicious dish that represents simple, seasonal flavors that stand out on their own, without the need for anything fancy or complicated. To me, what makes a dish delicious is when you can identify the ingredients that comprise the dish, yet make them work together to make one harmonious flavor. And when you use ingredients that are in season, this is fairly easy to accomplish.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of experimenting with beets as of late. My husband thought that he didn’t like beets until I roasted them for him and added them to a salad. Now he’s crazy about them and insists that I order them every week in our organic produce delivery box. And I oblige him, of course, because I’m crazy for beets too! Aside from their awesome blood-purifying and blood-boosting properties, beets also have an awesome earthy flavor and meaty texture.
And did you know that not all beets are red? I happened to get the red and yellow variety in my box this week, so that’s what I used. They’re basically the same, but the yellow has a slightly milder flavor. This was also a great opportunity for me to incorporate some sweet potatoes. I LOVE sweet potatoes, but the hubs isn’t so keen on them. I even wrote an entire post dedicated to the Super Sweet Potato + 70 Sweet Potato Recipes! Check that out HERE.
Truth be told, you could really use any root vegetable for this dish and it will be super delicious, provided that it’s in season! I cannot stress enough the importance of cooking with seasonally appropriate ingredients. Of course there are some things that you eat year round, but when you can, try to stick to eating fruits and vegetables when they are at their peak. Not only will they taste better, but they’ll also be more economical (that’s my nice way of saying cheaper).
This dish is the perfect side for a weeknight meal because you can assemble it quickly, throw it in the oven, and forget about it while you cook the rest of your meal. I love those kinds of sides!
On with the recipe…
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
- Dice the beets and sweet potatoes into 1-2 inch pieces (size doesn't matter so much, as long as they're all roughly the same size) and toss them onto a large sheet tray
- Strip the thyme leaves from the stems and throw them on top of the veggies
- Add the ghee or coconut oil. If it's solid, you can melt it ahead of time. Or, you can go the lazy route like I do and just toss the solid chunk on the veggies and then go back after they have been in the oven for a bit and toss it all together when the fat has melted.
- Season liberally with sea salt and pepper
- Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the veggies have browned and caramelized around the edges, making sure to turn half-way.
- Remove from the oven, taste and adjust the seasoning.
If you love beets too, check out my Beet and Arugula Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette and my Roasted Beet, Sweet Potato and Clementine Stacks.
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