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I could use some ideas for getting more green on to the Thanksgiving Day plate.

Usually we do green beans or brussels sprouts but they are also usually the lone green in a sea of brown and beige. I'm also looking for something new, no offense to the beans and the sprouts. I need more veggies because Jim sees Thanksgiving as an opportunity to invite every starch to the dinner table. He insists on mashed potatoes, dressing or a savory bread pudding, macaroni and cheese AND rolls and if you let him he'd probably add in a savory pie and a rice dish. It gets browner and beigy-er. I'm not sure why but I have never considered salad a viable Thanksgiving Day side, feel free to change my mind.

asked by Summer of Eggplant about 3 years ago
19 answers 1219 views
added about 3 years ago

A wintry salad of thinly sliced fennel and pomegranate seeds is both cool weather-appropriate and a welcome respite from starchy dishes!


Monita is a Recipe Tester for Food52

added about 3 years ago

Some great "greens" for Thanksgiving are spinach, kale, swiss chard, or collard greens. Creamed spinach is very traditional but you can also make a very nice autumn green salad with finely shredded kale and swiss chard topped with a vinaigrette and some chopped nuts like almonds

added about 3 years ago

I love sauteed greens with a little apple cider vinegar and honey for some seasonal flavor. This kale salad is also light, tasty, and perfect for Thanksgiving (I'm considering adding it to my menu):


Kate is a Recipe Tester for Food52

added about 3 years ago

I have to agree with Monita. I've made collards for Thanksgiving before, and they were a total hit. Here is a little inspiration:

Kristy Mucci

Kristy is an expert at making things pretty and a former Associate Editor of Food52.

added about 3 years ago

Amanda's kale salad with apples and hazelnuts is one of my favorites, and I served it as a Thanksgiving side last year:

Also, try a vegetable soup! The cauliflower soup is beige (Jim's favorite color) and creamy, but it's actually just vegetables:


June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 3 years ago

No matter whether I am cooking/hosting the fefast or going as a guest I always prepare a BIG crisp, fresh green salad dressed with a lemony vinaigrette. I have an ulterior motive. I personally NEED a salad in the midst of all those starchy carbs. Sometimes the salad is just "leaves," (and I always include a bitter green like arugula, watercress, endives) or sometimes I'll add shredded carrots, cukes, sliced red peppers, even olives. No croutons, no bacon, no creamy dressing. Those who don't want any don't eat it. I'm fine with that.


Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 3 years ago

This is my favorite brussels sprouts salad:, and there are lots more on this site:

added about 3 years ago

I have to agree with drbabs I love Brussel sprout salad, a little goes a long way

added about 3 years ago

I make this salad a lot, but as a large tossed salad:

I have tweaked it over the years, sometimes I use dried cherries in place of the pomegranate seeds, and I often omit the Mandarin oranges altogether.

added about 3 years ago

Along the lines of Monita's suggestions, my fiancee's family got me hooked on "Utica Greens". Apparently everyone in Utica has their own family recipe, but we sautee swiss chard with chopped onions/garlic, add crushed red pepper, and then finish with a handful of bread crumbs and parmesan. I grew up hundreds of miles away from Utica, yet I was hooked instantly!


Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

Yellow AND green. Don't let the "salsa verde" in the title throw you. The first time I made it at a dinner with my sis-in-law this summer, we both practically shouted "Thanksgiving!" at the same time... because of the marjoram and thyme.
- Omit oregano - just use the marjoram and thyme
- Used twice the amount of herbs and half the amount of oil
- Omitted chile/jalapeno
- Used more cheese

Makes outstanding leftovers.

added about 3 years ago

Thanks everyone. I'd have to agree I need something sharp to cut through all the butter and cream and cheese. I love to eat but I don't last very long on Thanksgiving.


Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 3 years ago

Have you thought about roasted or shaved raddichio salad with walnuts, pecorino, balsalmic, etc?

It's not green, but I find bitterness cuts through a rich heavy meal (so does a pre-dinner Negroni, but I digress).

added about 3 years ago

another great salad topper for a mix of dark greens is persimmon. I love to use them once tomatoes are out of season. I go with Fuyu as I can't stand waiting for the Hachiya to ripen and/or getting a bite of a not yet ripe enough one! Toasted pepitas mix well with the sweet persimmon, as does a slightly more acidic dressing.

Another suggestion - how about some orange? I made Antonia James' parsnip and butternut squash puree and it is easy, healthy and delicious:

added about 3 years ago

My mother-in-law makes an avacado/grapefruit sections/pomagranate seed salad, with poppy seed dressing for Thanksgiving. The textures, colors, and above all, bitterness, are so welcome to me amid that sea of starch.


AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 3 years ago

How about this? Broccoli Rabe with Savory Pine Nuts and Meyer Lemon

You can prep the rabe a day or two in advance, as well as the toasted pine nuts. It takes a grand total of five minutes on the stove, and can be served at room temperature. Just make sure you wait until the very last minute to sprinkle the lemon juice on the rabe -- I actually do this once the rabe are in the serving dish on the sideboard! -- as the acid, as one would expect, tends to dull the beautiful green color of the lightly cooked rabe after about fifteen minutes. If you're looking for sharp, light and a bit different, this should do the trick. ;o)


Meg is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

Have a nice recipe, don't know where it came from (?epicurious via a resident physician I was working with)... romaine lettuce, dried cranberries plumped in orange juice, oranges, and toasted almonds or walnuts. I think a walnut oil vinaigrette would be nice with this.... also I have a watercress salad recipe from Diana Kennedy's Nothing Fancy... dressed with sesame seeds, sesame oil, rice vinegar and fresh chopped cilantro.... usually add in shaved fennel. It tastes so clean with all the heavy food. If u cant face washing the salad leaves, I agree with the cooked dark green leafies. The kids will always eat collards because they are sweet and my sister in law gave me a great recipe called "Sleet". The collards are pumped up with a garlic salt (I don't usually use this but it's sacred for this recipe), a little sugar, vinegar... you get the idea. I have been trying to lighten our dinners a little bit so we have more room for dessert and wine. :))


Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added about 3 years ago

Saw this recipe and thought of your post. As mentioned in the editorial preface, don't let the "fish sauce" put you off.

added about 3 years ago

Maybe wild rice with kale would be a compromise? I think I was just reading that Smitten Kitchen has such a recipe.