While turkey is the star of most Thanksgiving spreads, the table’s not complete without at least a few brightly colored vegetable dishes playing supporting roles. While many families re-create the same traditional dishes year after year, here are a few new takes on some old classics.
SQUASH AND SAGE SOUP
Nothing says fall quite like a hearty butternut squash soup. This version is so easy it practically makes itself and can quickly be whipped up on a back burner. Just lightly pan fry two shallots with thyme, salt and pepper until they’re soft. Chop up a butternut squash into cubes and toss them in with the shallots, then add about 40 ounces of chicken broth, and let everything simmer until the squash is tender. Puree until smooth, garnish with a dollop of sour cream and chopped chives and serve. It’s warm and seasonal, and a small bowlful is a great little appetizer to whet your guests’ appetites.
GARLIC GREEN BEANS
Many people opt for some version of green beans with almonds on the Thanksgiving spread, but this simple green bean dish is a bright and flavorful alternative. Every table needs a nice pop of vibrant green, and this one is fun and festive.
CARROT AND POTATO PUREE WITH HAZELNUT TAPENADE
We think every Thanksgiving meal should have a few dishes the color of fall leaves, and this recipe is as beautiful as it is delicious. The otherwise simple smooth carrot puree is dressed up with a combination of hazelnuts, orange zest, garlic and green olives.
If kids turn up their noses at the complex flavors of the zesty tapenade, just give them a helping of the carrot puree by itself. Any leftover tapenade can be smeared on crusty bread—add a spoonful of goat cheese or diced tomatoes underneath for a whole new delicious appetizer.
If you fill up on veggies during the feast, you’ll be less likely to reach for that second helping of dessert afterwards (or at least will feel less guilty about it). What are your favorite veggie appetizers and side dishes this time of year?