No Thanksgiving is complete without a smorgasbord of sides to choose from, and this meat-free menu is no exception. There's no bacon, sausage, or pancetta to be found in these scrumptious side dishes, so vegetarians get your plates ready! All of these dishes pair nicely with the main dish: pumpkin lasagna. Start with a stuffing substitute in the form of a mushroom panzanella. Give mashed potatoes a gourmet makeover with caramelized shallots and fresh sage. Round out the menu with brussels sprouts and cranberry brown butter. Want a taste of these delicious recipes? Just
1/4 cup unsalted butter
12 cups crust-free cubed day-old bread (1/2-inch cubes)*
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
Sea salt, preferably gray salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound fresh wild mushrooms, thickly sliced or quartered
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup thinly sliced celery heart (on the diagonal), plus some chopped leaves
1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced onion-soup style
2 ounces baby arugula or spinach leaves
- For the croutons: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet over moderate heat and cook until it foams.
- In a large bowl, pour the butter over the 12 cups cubed bread and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to season all of the bread.
- Transfer the bread to a baking sheet.
- Bake, stirring once or twice, until the croutons are crisp and lightly colored on the outside but still soft within, about 15 minutes.
- Let cool. Croutons can be made 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container.
- For the dressing: Melt the butter in a small skillet over moderately low heat.
- Add the yellow onion and saute until soft, about 15 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the vinegar and stir with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits stuck on the bottom of the skillet.
- Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add 1/2 cup of the olive oil, then the water.
- Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- For the salad: Heat a large skillet over high heat.
- When hot, add 1/4 cup olive oil.
- When the oil begins to smoke, sprinkle in the mushrooms. Don't stir! Let them sizzle until they have caramelized on the bottom, about 2 minutes. If you toss them too soon, they will release their liquid and begin to steam. When the bottoms are caramelized, toss the mushrooms, reduce the heat to moderate, and continue to cook until well browned.
- Stir in the thyme and garlic and cook for about 1 minute to release their fragrance. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, combine the croutons, the mushrooms, and the onion dressing. Toss well to coat.
- Add the celery, red onion, and arugula or spinach and toss again gently.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning. Grate fresh Parmesan on top and serve immediately.
Note: For the croutons: use a serrated knife to remove the crust from day-old bread, then switch to a chef's knife to cut the cubes because it doesn't tear the bread. Grate the parmesan finely so that it will stick to the bread better.
2 lbs. Yukon Gold or russet potatoes (unpeeled)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced shallots
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
- Place potatoes in large saucepan; cover with cold water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in heavy medium skillet over high heat. Add shallots; sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low; stir until shallots are golden, about 5 minutes longer.
- Add fresh sage, white balsamic vinegar, and sugar; stir until caramelized, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Drain potatoes well; cool slightly. Peel and mash potatoes; place in large saucepan. Over medium heat, dry out potatoes for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, heat milk in small saucepan until warm. Stir butter into potatoes. Add warm milk and stir until completely absorbed. Stir shallot-sage mixture into potatoes. Season with salt.
4 lbs. Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
1-1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 sticks (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter
1 large shallot, minced
1 tsp. chopped thyme
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- On two large rimmed baking sheets, toss the Brussels sprouts with the oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for about 40 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the sprouts are tender and browned in spots.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, maple syrup, ginger, and orange zest. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the cranberries break down and thicken, about 10 minutes.
- In a medium skillet, cook the butter over moderately high heat until deep golden, about 4 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, add the shallot and thyme and stir into the cranberry sauce.
- Transfer the butter to a bowl, add the Brussels sprouts and toss. Season with salt and serve.
Make ahead: The cranberry brown butter can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Gently reheat the butter before tossing with the Brussels sprouts.