5 Nom-Worthy Vegetarian Dishes To Make This Thanksgiving!

We’re not here to talk turkey. No offense to the bird, but what makes Thanksgiving delicious is the sides. Who can resist those bites of sweet-and-savory or crunchy-and-velvety goodness? It’s all the fixings that have us coming back for seconds and thirds. So, in that spirit of plenty, we’ve tapped food writer-slash-photographer extraordinaire, Heidi Swanson of101 Cookbooks and Super Natural Every Day , to recommend a vegetarian menu showcasing the season’s bounty. And boy did she deliver — big time! 

The bestselling author shows us how to gobble away — without the gut bombs — while incorporating a cornucopia of fresh, local ingredients. Think huckleberries, squash, and citrus at its peak. Not that a holiday about togetherness should become a contest, but what’s so wrong with some friendly competition with cousin Nancy’s cranberry sauce and succotash? It’s a win-win for everyone at the table, really.

1

Kale Salad 
“Use whatever type of kale you like. I love the purple peacock, but the common Lacinato kale gives off a subtle banana scent that goes particularly well with the toasted coconut. If you can only find finely shredded, unsweetened coconut, reduce the amount to half a cup.” 

Ingredients: 
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 
2 tablespoons shoyu, tamari, or soy sauce 
3 1/2 lightly packed cups of chopped kale — stems trimmed, large ribs removed 
1 1/2 cups unsweetened large-flake coconut 
2 cups cooked farro or other whole grain 

Directions: 
Preheat the oven to 350°F with two racks in the top third of the oven. 

In a small bowl or jar, whisk or shake together the olive oil, sesame oil, and shoyu. Put the kale and coconut in a large bowl and toss well with about two-thirds of the olive-oil mixture. 

Spread the kale evenly across two baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 18 minutes, until the coconut is deeply golden brown, tossing once or twice along the way. If the kale mixture on the top baking sheet begins to get too browned, move it to the lower rack. 

Remove from the oven and transfer the kale mixture to a medium bowl. Taste. If you feel it needs a bit more dressing, add some and toss. If you’re adding grains, place them on a serving platter and top with the tossed kale and serve warm. Serves four. 

Photo And Recipe: Courtesy Of Heidi Swanson/Super Natural Every Day

2

White Beans And Cabbage 
“Creamy, thin-skinned Mayacobas or flageolets are my favorites for this particular 
preparation. If there are leftovers, stir a cup or two of good-flavored broth for a soul-warming stew.” 

Ingredients: 
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, clarified butter, or unsalted butter 
4 ounces potatoes — unpeeled, scrubbed, and cut into tiny cubes 
Fine-grain sea salt 
1 large shallot, thinly sliced 
2 cups cooked and cooled white beans 
3 cups very finely shredded green cabbage 
A bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

Directions: 
Pour the olive oil into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and a big pinch of salt. Toss, cover, and cook until the potatoes are cooked through, five to eight minutes. Be sure to scrape the pan and toss the potatoes once or twice along the way so all sides get color. Stir in the shallot and the beans. 

Let the beans cook in a single layer for a couple minutes, until they brown a bit, then scrape and toss again. Cook until the beans are nicely browned and a bit crispy on all sides. Stir in the cabbage and cook for another minute, or until the cabbage loses a bit of its structure. Serve dusted with Parmesan. Serves four. 

Photo And Recipe: Courtesy Of Heidi Swanson/Super Natural Every Day

3

Miso-Curry Delicata Squash 
“Few winter squash have endeared themselves to me like the Delicata. I appreciate its buttery, sweet flesh, brief roasting time, and streaky electric-yellow skin — skin that is edible, incidentally. Said another way, there’s no need to peel the Delicata.” 

Ingredients: 
12 ounces Delicata squash 
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
Scant 1/4 cup white miso 
Scant 1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste 
8 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes 
4 medium new potatoes, unpeeled, cut into chunks 
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
1 1/2 cups chopped kale, tough stems removed 
1/3 cup pepitas, toasted 
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro 

Directions: 
Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the middle of the oven. Cut the Delicata squash in half, lengthwise, and use a spoon to clear out all the seeds. 

Cut into 1/2-inch long/1cm thick half-moon shapes. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, miso, and curry paste. Combine the tofu, potatoes, and squash in a large bowl with 1/3 cup of the miso-curry paste. Use your hands to toss well, then turn the vegetables onto a rimmed baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. 

Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until everything is tender and browned. Toss once or twice along the way, after things start to brown a bit. Keep a close watch, though — the vegetables can go from browned to burned in a flash. In the meantime, whisk the lemon juice into the remaining miso-curry paste, then stir in the kale until coated. Toss the roasted vegetables gently with the kale, pepitas, and cilantro. Serve family style in a large bowl or on a platter. Serves four. 

Photo And Recipe: Courtesy Of Heidi Swanson/Super Natural Every Day

4

Huckleberry Curd 
“Curd will thicken substantially as it cools. There’s no need to strain it, unless you somehow ended up with a few lumps, which you shouldn’t. It keeps refrigerated for a week, or up to a month in the freezer. I love it warm or cold.” 

Ingredients: 
1/2 cup freshly pressed huckleberry juice, strained 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp/soft 
Paste from 1/3 vanilla bean 
2 large egg yolks, preferably room temp 
1/8 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt 
1 1/2 teaspoons good-quality balsamic vinegar 

Directions: 
Place huckleberries in small saucepan with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Stirring and pressing constantly, heat over medium until berries release juices. Press through a fine stainer. Throw away solids, reserve huckleberry juice, and let cool for at least ten minutes. 

Cream the butter in a medium, stainless-steel bowl. Add the remaining sugar and vanilla-bean paste, and beat until fluffy and light. Add the yolks, and then the eggs one at a time, beating well to incorporate after each addition. Stir in the salt, and then gradually add the juice and vinegar — working the juice in as you go. 

Rinse out the small saucepan you used earlier and fill 1/3 of the way full with water. Bring to a simmer, and place your stainless steel bowl of curd on top of it. Stir constantly, heating the curd slowly enough that the sugar has time to dissolve (about ten minutes). Pull the curd from the heat when it is just thick enough to coat your spoon —around 166F degrees — keep in mind, the temperature will continue to climb up a bit. Makes 1 1/2 cups. 

Photo And Recipe: Courtesy Of Heidi Swanson/101 Cookbooks

5

Lemon Thyme Gin Sparkler 
Because we couldn’t say no to a tippler, here’s one of Heidi’s favorite cocktails of the season. The bright notes sparkle when lemons are at their juiciest this time of the year. And, the herbaceous notes are a refreshing complement to classic stuffing. 

Ingredients: 
2 tablespoons gin 
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
2 teaspoons thyme syrup 
3 tablespoons tonic or soda water 

Directions: 
Combine gin, lemon juice, and thyme syrup (see below for Heidi’s DIY) in a small glass. Stir well, add four to five ice cubes and top off with tonic or soda water. 

Make a simple thyme syrup by bringing 1 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme to a simmer in a small saucepan. Let simmer for a few minutes, then remove from heat and let infuse for another ten minutes. Strain into a jar. Makes enough syrup for about 20 drinks. 

Photo And Recipe: Courtesy Of Heidi Swanson/101 Cookbooks

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