Its name has yet to be confirmed—veggieducken? vegetable turducken? vegetableducken? squashducken?—but the trend is in full swing. (Move over, mom jeans.)
The premise is simple: You know a turducken? You stuff a chicken in a duck in a turkey. Now take that concept and make it vegetarian.
Unofficial sources (a.k.a. me) say the trend started with Dan Pashman, who created the Veggieducken in 2012 for his Cooking Channel web series Good to Know. The media went wild. The Kitchn, Huffington Post, NPR, and PETA (naturally) held on tight: It was a centerpiece-worthy vegetarian-friendly main dish—what a sign of the times! Dan’s squashleekotato—“two sweet potatoes inside leeks inside a banana squash, with vegetarian stuffing between each layer”–wasn’t a one-year gimmick, though. Dan gave the people what they wanted: more information about it on Slate and his podcast The Sporkful in 2014. And he gave us even more this year:
"Vegetarians don't like it when you tell them they're missing out on Thanksgiving. But they're missing out on Thanksgiving. Not because you have to eat meat to enjoy the holiday, but because it's the one holiday when the focal point is the preparation of a huge, time-consuming dish that you'd never bother to make any other time of year. When you put that massive platter on the table and everyone sits down to eat, that's the climax—the payoff of hours or even days of anticipation and effort. No number of delicious side dishes can replicate that. And I wanted vegetarians to have that experience too."
Thanksgiving 2014 came and went, and so did the veggieducken. Now it's back, with a vengeance. Our friends at Epicurious planned—and delivered—on their version of a “#vegducken.” And we've been concocting not one, but two, squashduckens for weeks.
At least 15 squash were roasted, microwaved, and/or steamed during the development of our squashduckens. They are almost ready to be revealed—as you read this, they’re in our photo studio, with makeup on.
There's a sweet one—The Squearpleberry—and a savory version. (We like to fancy ourselves trailblazers, even when following a trend.) Check back on Friday for official unveiling.
First image courtesy of Epicurious; second of The Sporkful; all others by the editors.