I know it’s after the fact, but I wanted to share a photo of my Thanksgiving plate because it’s really the only meal of the year when there are these many separate items on my plate at one time, and I can eat them all without shame. I made a total of seven side dishes this year (not including some defrosted corn for Conor because that’s basically all he ate for Thanksgiving besides one bite of turkey, whipped cream, and my mother’s delicious pumpkin-souffle pie). How many sides landed on your plate this year? And aren’t sides the best?
The above contained: string beans with shallots and lemon zest, Brussel sprouts pan-roasted with maple syrup, sweet potato and gruyere gratin, chorizo sausage stuffing, celeriac and parsnip puree (I need to make this more, it was super simple if you want to give it a try, recipe below), ginger and orange glazed carrots, fresh NJ cranberry sauce, and of course, the turkey (a heritage Bourbon Red, dry-brined, basted in wine; worth it) and gravy from the drippings.
I also made a pumpkin soup but ended up saving that for the next day’s lunch (I went a little crazy with the dish count). Recipe to follow for that soup and also my leftover-turkey soup.
And here’s a recipe for the super easy root vegetable puree, which I feel was a worthy stand-in for mashed potatoes, and should be enjoyed any night of the week, not just for Thanksgiving.
CELERIAC AND PARSNIP PUREE
1 large celeriac (otherwise known as celery-root, or that nubby, ugly thing in the produce aisle), peeled and cut into chunks
3 large parsnips (the yellowish thing that resembles a large carrot), peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup milk (whole, if possible)
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Freshly ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Place the celeriac and parsnip in a large pot and fill with cold water until they’re covered by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and cook at a simmer until you can easily pierce the pieces with the tip of a steak knife. Drain.
In separate sauce pan, while the root vegetables are simmering, heat the milk and broth together until hot but not boiling (when little bubbles are forming along the edge). Leave on low to keep warm.
Place the celeriac and parsnips in a food processor. Season with salt, pepper, and about 1/4 tsp of nutmeg. Add 1/2 of the broth-milk mixture while pulsing to combine. Add more of the broth/milk mixture if you want more of a pureed texture (you can control the texture by pulsing). Taste and add more seasonings if necessary. Serve hot.