In celebration of Le Pain Quotidien's 25th anniversary, and inspired by a seasonal lunch and bread-baking demo with them, we're sharing recipes and all-year-round tips for breaking bread together.
Thanksgiving is a study in inefficiency. All the dishes require more than another to approximate balance and completeness. Soft foods are abundantly covered—to the point where the dishes slump together, your guests glazed like your turkey and slouched like those green beans. Are those Christmas carols I hear?
Despite its breadth, The Big Meal is missing some things, namely lettuce, fruit, crunch, and—here’s my fighting word—flavor. This humble salad doesn’t need to replace any of the sauces or mashes or purées or soups you just have to have. Rather, it employs all the moves you’ll once again do this November 26—while also covering other, seasonal forgotten bases.
There’s the rainbow of fall vegetables—cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and squash—roasted. There’s protein and softness by way of white beans of any variety. Now here’s where things get wild: arugula, pomegranate seeds, and a horseradish-heavy vinaigrette. Okay, it’s not that wild—but for Thanksgiving, these are punches.
The salad’s flavors are focused in their sharpness (hardly a many-course mush parade), but you’ve got the bounty and harvest and autumnal feels someone said you gotta have this time of year. This hardworking salad is a meal all on its own (I make it many times every fall)—but it can play nice with other dishes, too. It’d be grateful to be invited to your family’s Thanksgiving table. It’ll keep people buoyant, awake and alert—and hopefully keep Grandpa from telling that inappropriate joke again. So what you got, turkey?
For the salad:
3/4 pounds brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
3/4 pounds cauliflower florets
3 cups 1/2-inch cubes of butternut squash
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white balsamic
3/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
A few pinches of cayenne
1 cup cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
2 cups arugula
For the vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Handful of chives and/or parsley (optional)
Photos by James Ransom
In celebration of Le Pain Quotidien's 25th anniversary—and their use of fresh ingredients—we're sharing seasonal recipes and all-year-round tips for breaking bread together.