Typically the turkey is the star of the Thanksgiving meal, but everyone has different variations of what the traditional side dishes are. I wanted to list some dishes that are less traditional accompaniments to serve alongside the turkey. Since the Thanksgiving meal is usually so massive and heavy, I’m suggesting to try these lighter items.
Sweet Potato- Orange Purée– My mom used to serve this and it is very easy to prepare. Roast the sweet potatoes until soft and mix with a little parsley, orange zest, and orange juice to taste. If you want to get fancy- hollow out the flesh from an orange that has been cut in half, blanch the orange “cup” in boiling water, stuff with the sweet potato purée, and bake in the oven.
Wild Rice Pilaf- Cook the wild rice with sautéed onions and garlic and chicken or vegetable stock. When the rice is fully cooked, toss in dried fruit, pecans or chestnuts, and fresh chopped sage.
Heirloom Squash Soup- Find an heirloom squash from a local farmers market (last year I used a French variety called Galeux d’Eysines), cut into quarters, scoop out the seeds and roast until soft, scoop out the flesh and purée with sautéed onions, roasted garlic, and chicken stock.
Mixed Green Salad- Toss fresh lettuce with dried cranberries, pear, apple, or persimmons, pomegranate seeds, and orange vinaigrette.
Raw Cranberry Relish- One bag of fresh cranberries, 3/4 cup of sugar, and 1 whole seedless orange. Pulse in a food processer, or through a food mill, or for the best results, through a meat grinder. Best when made one day in advance.
Steamed Green Beans- Simply tossed with a little olive oil and sea salt.