For people who love to cook, Thanksgiving is a great time of year to immerse oneself in the kitchen and experiment with new recipes. Whether your family is open to trying new dishes or clamors for the same favorites, here are a few easy, delicious recipes for inspiration.
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
1 4-pound pie pumpkin, cut in half and seeds removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
3 slices bacon, diced
2 shallots, diced
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 cup half and half
Heat the oven to 375°F. Rub the cut halves of the pumpkin with the oil. Place on a baking sheet and roast for about an hour until tender when pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and let cool. Scoop out the flesh, place it in a bowl, and set aside.
Fry the bacon in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a small paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.
Add the shallots to the bacon fat and sauté about 5 minutes. Add the broth, thyme, and pumpkin and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook about 15 minutes.
Purée the soup using an immersion blender. Stir in the half and half. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve garnished with the bacon.
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
Serves 4 – 6
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
2 peeled hard-boiled eggs
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, tough outer leaves removed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
Combine the lemon juice, zest, mustard, shallot, salt and pepper in a medium, bowl; set aside.
Grate the eggs on the large holes of a box grater; set aside.
Holding on to the stem end of the Brussels sprouts, thinly slice them crosswise until you get within 1/2 inch of the stem. Discard the stems and place the sliced sprouts in a large bowl, breaking up the layers and discarding any tough pieces; set aside.
While whisking continuously, slowly drizzle the oil into the shallot mixture until all of the oil is incorporated.
Add the pine nuts and half of the grated eggs to the Brussels sprouts and drizzle with the dressing. Gently toss until combined. Let sit at room temperature until the sprouts slightly soften and the flavors meld, about 15 minutes.
Toss the salad again to redistribute the dressing. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Transfer to a serving dish, top with the remaining eggs, and sprinkle with the Parmesan.
Green Bean Casserole
6 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced small
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons sea salt
black pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 pinch grated nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 can Lars’ Own Crispy Onions*
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion, and saute about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Set aside to cool.
Cook beans in boiling water until tender about 5 minutes. Pour into a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 cup flour, and whisk constantly until mixture begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Pour in milk, and continue whisking until mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in nutmeg, and the remaining teaspoon salt and additional pepper. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Mix sauce with beans in a bowl.
Pour beans into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Combine Parmesan and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over casserole. Cover beans with foil and bake at 425 until heated through, about 25 minutes. Uncover, set oven to broil, and cook until top is golden brown, about 1 minute. Sprinkle fried onions over top and serve immediately.
*To make your own fried onions:
4 shallots, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch rings
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Heat canola oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Toss shallot rings with flour. Fry the shallots in batches, turning frequently, until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
3/4 cup vegetable broth
In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa, bay leaf, and vegetable broth to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove bay leaf.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, saute onions, celery and garlic in butter until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute, until mushrooms are soft. Add thyme, sage, salt and pepper, nuts, and ½ cup vegetable broth. Stir in quinoa. Transfer to a baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes.
Apple Kasha Crumble
From PCC Co-op
2 1/2 pounds apples or firm, ripe pears, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
1/2 cup toasted buckwheat kasha
1/4 cup toasted almonds
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 stick cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup maple syrup
Preheat oven to 375° F. Toss fruit with lemon juice and ginger. Spread evenly in ungreased 9- by 13-inch baking pan. In a food processor, coarsely chop kasha and almonds. Add flour, oats, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Process until just combined. Add butter pieces and process until crumbly. Mix in maple syrup. Dollop topping over fruit evenly. Bake until golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes, until fruit is fork-tender.