Try these hearty and healthy Thanksgiving side dish recipes by local chef Sissy Yellen.
Recipes and Photography by Sissy Yellen
Fall is progressing quickly and, before you know it, we are reflecting on what we are thankful for. I am thankful every day to have fresh, whole, healthy foods to sustain myself and those I love. Every November, I cook several huge meals for my family and friends to share this gift with them. Here are some of my favorite side dish recipes for Thanksgiving, “Friendsgiving” or simply for feeding your soul. Prep ahead, enjoy and be thankful!
Shaved Harvest Salad
Ribbons of local broccoli, carrots, parsnips, fennel, red onion. Peppered with slices of local black and red radish. Marinated in a chophouse-style light vinaigrette, laced with plump golden raisins, Marcona almonds and Pecorino cheese. Serves 4-6 as side dish, 3-4 as entrée.
4 large stalks of broccoli (crowns removed)
6 large heirloom carrots
1 fennel bulb, fronds removed and set aside for garnish
4 large red radishes
4 large black radishes
¼ red onion
½ cup golden raisins, soaked in warm water until plump
½ cup Marcona almonds, roughly chopped
¼ cup Pecorino cheese
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup canola oil
1 T. honey Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic
1 t. dried oregano
2 t. kosher salt
1 t. coarsely ground black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
For dressing, combine all the ingredients except the canola oil in your blender. Blend on low for 30-60 seconds until garlic is broken down. Begin to emulsify while blender is on low speed by slowly pouring in canola oil. Finish with a high blend for 60 seconds to ensure emulsification! Reserve in refrigerator for up to six days.
For even ribbons, I highly suggest using a mandolin (with safety guard!). It makes your prep quick, uniform and beautiful. Begin by squaring off the edges of your broccoli stalks and carrots with a large knife. Make a few test ribbons on your mandolin to determine the setting you like — I prefer a thickness that is in between pliable but not transparent. Continue using mandolin to slice radishes, red onion and fennel.
Combine all the vegetable ribbons in bowl with the rehydrated golden raisins, the chopped almonds, and ½ of the dressing. Garnish with grated Pecorino cheese and fennel fronds. Add more dressing, if desired.
Truffled Mashed Potatoes
Restaurant-style potatoes, creamed with local Calder butter first. Softened with local dairy favorite, Guernsey heavy whipping cream. Flavored with Guernsey sour cream, truffle salt and black truffle oil. I have mastered the only technique of serving restaurant-quality potatoes, creamy and hot, made in advance. Serves 4-6 as side dish.
4 large russet potatoes
½ cup Calder farm-fresh butter
½ cup Guernsey Farms Dairy “grade A” heavy whipping cream
½ cup Guernsey Farms Dairy “grade A” sour cream
1 T. black truffle-flavored olive oil
2 t. black truffle salt
½ t. white pepper
¼ t. coarse black pepper
Peel potatoes and cut them into ½-inch slices. Place them in a large stockpot and fill with cold water. You may do this ahead of time and store the entire pot in refrigeration up to three days. Place on high heat and bring to a boil.
Reduce to medium heat and simmer potatoes until centers are fork tender. About 18 minutes. Drain and return to stockpot.
With a handheld potato masher, begin breaking down potatoes (without stirring, this makes them tough). Add butter, truffle oil, salt and pepper. The potatoes absorb the most flavor when they are hot, so make sure these ingredients are measured out ahead of time and added immediately.
When potatoes are mostly broken down, use an electric hand mixer and start beating in heavy whipping cream and sour cream. Mix for about 1 minute. To keep hot, place in slow cooker under the “warm” setting. Will stay perfect up to three hours before your event. This means plenty of time to clean up the mess before your guests arrive.
Sissy Yellen is a chef, freelance food writer, dog lover, personal and home style enthusiast who lives in Birmingham.