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Celery, Date & Walnut Salad ♥ Recipe

Today's Thanksgiving salad idea: A simple yet festive salad made with celery, dates and toasted walnuts.
The first year in my own home, I signed up to host Thanksgiving dinner for a fair-sized crowd, fourteen. Like all good guests, people offered to bring a dish, my sister the salad. But when she arrived, the salad had been completely forgotten, not left behind, mind you, forgotten -- we've laughed about it ever since. (Trust me, there's little that escapes my sister, so it's useful to have 'something' to hold over her. For. Life. 80K. For Life.) Ever since, salad rarely finds its way to Thanksgiving dinner, there are just sooo many other foods, we'll be back to lettuce soon enough.

Still, especially for small Thanksgiving gatherings, a salad can be a welcome respite from all the rich, plenteous food. I loved this salad and think it would be perfect for Thanksgiving. Think Crunch. Think Color. Think 'autumn flair'. Perhaps a Thanksgiving salad isn…

Green Beans with Browned Butter & Pine Nuts ♥ Recipe

Today's Thanksgiving recipe idea: Fresh green beans tossed in browned butter and toasted pine nuts. Simple and sumptuous at the same time.
Has anyone else noticed that many Thanksgiving vegetable recipes seem to be for the toothless? The recipes all start with 'creamy' and 'cheesy' and end with 'mash' and 'purée'. Where's the crunch in Thanksgiving? I love these as much as the next Thanksgiving turkey but still, think that every Thanksgiving menu should include a vegetable that retains its farm form.

Now, before anyone gets the idea that these beans are, say, diet food, think butter, think browned butter, think browned butter with golden niblets of pine nuts. Think celebration, think feast. These beans are an ultimate Thanksgiving vegetable.
GREEN BEANS WITH BROWNED BUTTER & PINE NUTSHands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Serves 4 - 8
1 quart water
1 tablespoon table salt
1 pound fresh green beans, tails topped

3 tablespoons unsalted…

Mashed Butternut Squash & Sweet Potatoes with Citrus ♥ Recipe

Today's vegetable recipe: Butternut squash and sweet potatoes, roasted then mashed. Brightened with citrus zest.
So you know how some times a butternut squash can be a little bit watery? And a sweet potato a little bit stringy or starchy? Aha -- the trick is to blend them! This is a lovely way to get the best of both vegetables, texture-wise. It's a combination that bears repetition, whether using this specific recipe or not.

That said, I was surprised at how good these were, flavor-wise, too. The zest really brings out the squash and sweet potato flavors.

And truly, isn't the color gorgeous? This would be a splendid choice for Thanksgiving.

Thank you, Constancia! Many thanks to a New York reader for sharing this recipe. She wrote, "This recipe is not original, it comes from Lynn Rosetto Kasper’s The Splendid Table, where she calls it Yom Kippur Squash. It is traditional, at least in Italy, to serve golden food on Yom Kippur to welcome in a rich new year. It has become…

Thanksgiving Succotash ♥ Recipe

Today's Thanksgiving recipe: Succotash [SUHK-uh-tash], a simple mix of corn and lima beans topped with cheesy bread crumbs. Easy to convert to vegetarian and vegan versions.
How is it that corn -- or more specifically, maize -- indigenous to the Americas and one of the staple foods of Native Americans, so rarely makes its way onto Thanksgiving tables? Let's launch a 'Yes, we can!' effort to change that! Corn and lima beans are a magical combination, especially when their texture is contrasted with a little smooth heat from a poblano pepper. I was some surprised: this simple dish adds up to more than the sum of its parts.

What is succotash? I had to check, myself, even though the word itself and the sufferin' succotash of Sylvester the Cat are both embedded in the back of my brain. Succotash is a traditional American food with many regional variations. The two constants are lima beans and corn. Beans, potatoes and tomatoes may be added, some times the vegetables are t…

Cauliflower Mac n Cheese ♥ Recipe

Today's Thanksgiving recipe idea: Mac 'n' cheese for grown-ups, with pan-roasted cauliflower and a peppery cream sauce. Made low-carb with low-glycemic pasta from Dreamfields.
Last year's Butternut Mac 'n' Cheese persuaded me that mac 'n' cheese has a revered place on the Thanksgiving table. Call it the 'people's choice'.

So just for fun, I tried another vegetable version, this time with pan-roasted cauliflower and not so much a 'cheese' sauce as a 'pepper cream' sauce.

It's great! The pepper really contrasts with the nuttiness of the cauliflower and the toothsome bite of the pasta. It's another winner -- worthy of a place on a festive table.

The recipe is easy enough, but does require a pan or two or three. But the results are -- to my taste -- worth the time and effort.
CAULIFLOWER MAC 'N' CHEESEHands-on time: 45 minutes
Time to table: 75 minutes
Makes about 4 cups
PASTA
8 ounces dried pasta, Dreamfields Pasta f…

Creamy Brussels Sprouts Gratin ♥ Recipe

Today's simple Brussels sprouts recipe idea: A simple gratin of fresh Brussels sprouts, first roasted, then braised in cream, then if you like, finished until crisp under the broiler. When I first shared this recipe for Thanksgiving in 2008, it was one of the richest dishes on the entire site – and worth every calorie. But over time, I've adapted the recipe, simplifying its preparation, reducing its calories, making it Weight Watchers friendly – and with no loss in satisfaction. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Vegetarian. And 100% Delicious.
WAY BACK IN 2008: Oh. My. MY. What heat and cream don't do for "baby cabbages" aka Brussels sprouts. In fact, this might be my new most-favorite way to cook Brussels sprouts, simple and decadent both at once. The sprouts are elevated to a whole new experience, perfect for special occasions. And they couldn't be easier to make, so for anyone who has room for the calories, this is a great recipe for everyday, too.

UPDATE: Turns ou…

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