Your oven does the cooking with this recipe, where roasted vegetables carry more weight than the protein. It encompasses all things great for a busy weeknight cook interested in flavorful, nutritious cooking using whole foods. And it manages to be a bit sophisticated.
There is everything to like in this vegetable mélange – their light olive oil bath infused with earthy rosemary and thyme flavors and the caramelized and crispy taste and texture of the potatoes, fennel, Brussels sprouts and leek. Cutting the vegetables all about the same width will help them cook more evenly and achieve the best results (see the photos for the easiest way to tackle cutting a fennel bulb if you aren’t familiar with it.) And using the “convectional” oven setting, if it’s an option, blows the hot air around the oven speeding up the cooking and increasing the caramelized flavor.
Ingredients have been kept to a minimum for speed in preparation, but a touch of grated lemon zest folded into the vegetables before roasting or grated Parmesan cheese dusted over the top several minutes before pulling them from the oven are considerations. Start to finish you can be sitting down to eat in 45 minutes or so, with free time to do other things while the oven does the cooking.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (1 tablespoon chopped if using fresh)
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves (1 tablespoon chopped if using fresh)
- 6 cloves garlic, lightly smashed and cut in half widthwise
- 1 pound small red or white potatoes or a combination
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 1 medium fennel bulb (about 12 ounces)
- 1 leek
- 4-8 Italian chicken herb sausages
- Stir together olive oil, thyme, rosemary and garlic (this can be done the night before, covered and stored at room temperature).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees “convection” bake (or 425 if using a “conventional” oven. See note for an explanation of the difference).
- To prep the vegetables: potatoes that are 1-inch or smaller can be halved and those that are larger can be cut into ½ inch slices. Trim ends from Brussels sprouts then cut in half, widthwise, or cut into quarters if large. Trim stem end from the fennel and trim the stalks to within 1 inch above the bulb. Slice bulb in half lengthwise and then cut into ½ inch thick vertical slices (see photo for clarification). Trim the darkest green top (about 2 inches) from the top of the leek, then cut it in half, widthwise, and slice into ½ inch pieces.
- In a large bowl, toss potatoes with 1-1/2 tablespoons herb seasoned oil; transfer to a baking sheet and spread out in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- In the same bowl, toss Brussels sprouts, fennel and leek with remaining herb seasoned oil until evenly coated; set aside.
- For sausages with a grilled look, heat a ridged skillet over medium heat and sear and brown sausages 3 to 4 minutes (this step can be eliminated and sausages put directly on sheet pan.)
- Roast potatoes 10 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and using a spatula turn potatoes. Add remaining vegetables to the potatoes, spreading out in a single layer; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Nestle sausages in between the vegetables and return to the oven. Roast until vegetables are just lightly browned and caramelized and sausages are cooked through, about 20 minutes, turning vegetables once during roasting.