People always ask me what we eat for Thanksgiving since we don't eat meat. And no, it's not tofurky. Do I really strike you as a girl who eats tofurky?
My approach to a vegetarian Thanksgiving has usually been just having a lot of traditional side dishes, and Last year we had a fairly traditional Thanksgiving dinner, stuffing, roasted vegetables (sweet potato, potato, carrots), challah rolls (D's one Thanksgiving tradition that he wanted to hang on to), some caramelized tofu and Brussels sprouts as
This year we veered from tradition and it was quite delicious.
|See how only 2/3 of that carrot cake is frosted? That's on purpose. |
Only one of us likes cream cheese frosting.
And yes, I did have a slice of it for breakfast. Don't judge.
a light cheese platter to snack on while I cooked dinner
- "Revival" cheddar from Argyle Cheese Farmers
- Pear chutney
- Pickled asparagus
Pumpkin and Turnip Green (or Not) Risotto (below)
Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread (I'll try to post next week or the week after about how to modify this recipe for those of us who don't have Bundt pans lying around our tiny Brooklyn kitchens)
Cranberry sauce with lime and rosemary (If I had any sense of the exact proportions I used, I would share this...it was so tasty)
Wine and sparkling cider
For me, however, the most frustrating part of any Thanksgiving dinner I've ever cooked has been making things that everyone will like. The first time I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my family, I ended up making two different varieties of mashed potatoes, roasted and boiled Brussels sprouts (really? who actually likes boiled Brussels sprouts? My stepdad? Yeah. That guy), stuffing with and without sausage in it. I made I cooked a turkey. I don't eat turkey. It was like that episode of Friends where Monica cooks Thanksgiving dinner for everyone and has to make the Thanksgiving dishes everyone can't live without. Except no one got a turkey stuck on her/his head.
This year was much simpler. I made a main dish that we would both enjoy and could modify at the table to fit our preferences.
And everyone was happy.
And we could spend more time playing cribbage, watching movies, and enjoying each other's company. Instead of D working on fMRI stuff while I worked in the kitchen.
Have you cooked Thanksgiving dinner for your family/friends/loved ones? How did you accommodate all of the different palates and tastes?
Pumpkin and Turnip Green (or not) Risotto
Adapted from the basic risotto recipe in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
2 c peeled, cubed sugar pumpkin (or other winter squash)
1 c chopped turnip greens or other dark leafy greens
salt and pepper
2 T unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 c Aroborio or other short grain white rice
1/2 c dry white wine
4-6 c simmering vegetable broth
1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350. Place the pumpkin cubes on a baking sheet. Toss with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, tossing at least once, or until the pumpkin is browned and cooked through. Set aside. (Alternately, you can parboil the pumpkin and then saute with the greens at the last minute).
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the butter melts, and the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir until the rice begins to look glossy. Add the wine and stir until the wine has bubbled away.
Next, add the simmering broth in 1/2 c increments (this is about a ladle full). Stir as you add the broth and stir frequently until the mixture is no longer soupy, but doesn't look too dry. Continue this until the rice is cooked through and creamy. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan. Taste and adjust the seasoning. (At this point you can cook the parboiled pumpkin in a pan with some olive oil and the greens or cook the greens in the pot where you had the broth simmering using just the water that's clinging to them from washing, cook, covered, until they collapse).
Serve with the pumpkin and greens on the side (or actually stir them in if you'll all eat them) and a pepper grinder and additional Parmesan at the table.