Besides all the traditional dishes of Thanksgiving like stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberries, I like to throw in a few extras, sometimes it’s simply roasted seasonal vegetables.
Different shaped squash, colorful carrots and vibrant greens are the perfect backdrop on a pretty platter, you can roast them ahead of time, reheat in a hot oven and finish them off with a good drizzle of balsamic glaze!
In my family we all like brussel sprouts in some form or another so I always try to have them on my Thanksgiving table, this year I’m doing a Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad. ( recipe below) It’s fresh, crunchy, creamy, slightly sweet with a tiny bit of heat and laced with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, lemon and Marcona almonds and plumped cranberries.
I seriously could eat this for lunch everyday, it’s that good! Pull out a large bowl because you’ll be surprised how much it makes with just one bunch of kale and half a bag of brussel sprouts. I encourage you to double the recipe please! Everyone needs a little decadence during the holidays and these Cipollini bathing in Creamy Parmesan and Thyme sauce are the perfect addition to your table, besides they’re small and a few on your plate won’t hurt you! Cipollini are the saucer shaped onions but you can certainly replace them with pearl onions which are even smaller. Roast your onions ahead of time in a 400 degree oven until golden, then place them into a shallow baking dish. Meanwhile in a separate saucepan place 2 cups of cream and three sprigs of thyme, salt and pepper, when cream starts to come to a boil remove pan from the stove and stir in 3/4 cup of grated parmesan, add salt to taste, then spoon it over and around the onions. Sprinkle additional 1/4 cup of grated parmesan on top and place into the oven at 450 for 15 minutes or until the cream has thickened. Creamy Fennel with Parmesan and Thyme, another decadent treat! Prepare it the same way as the onions above, slightly roasting the fennel before hand. I used three bulbs thinly sliced. I usually make a side of pasta on Thanksgiving and either Butternut squash or Pumpkin Gnocchi is always a wonderful complement to the turkey dinner. But my all time favorite are these Stuffed Shells with Butternut Squash, Spinach and Ricotta. All the flavors of a butternut squash lasagne stuffed into individual pasta shells, one or two on your heavily loaded plate is plenty and there’s no hassle cutting into a big lasagne, what could be better than that? Happy Cooking!
- 1 bunch of Tuscan kale, chopped with stems removed
- ½ lb. brussel sprouts, sliced thin or shredded in a food processor
- ¼ cup shredded carrots
- 1 large celery stalk, sliced thin
- 1 cup of plump dried cranberries
- ½ cup of Marcona almonds
- ¾ cup coarsely shredded parmesan cheese
- FOR THE DRESSING
- ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 or 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- a pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 small smashed garlic
- ½ teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- Place chopped kale, shredded sprouts, carrots, celery, dried cranberries and almonds into a large bowl, sprinkle cheese all around.
- Whisk olive oil, lemon, garlic, red pepper and Dijon together in a smaller separate bowl then toss with the kale and sprout mixture, adding more cheese and olive oil if needed. Cover and refrigerate or eat immediately.