I am really curious to know what you consider to be the "Star" of your side dish repertoire!
Mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows and pecans. My absolute favorite!
Sam is a trusted home cook.
I love that...T-day should be about classics. Yeah, we can make outstanding 'high class' dishes...but for family for T-day..there's something visceral in taste memory that doesn't want to be challenged, messed with, or changed, which to me part of the experience of T-day.
Slide in a few new dishes on the side if you will..but your brother in law will chow down on the green bean casserole and sweet potatoes with marshmallows ignoring all your efforts at classing it up.
Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.
Is stuffing a side dish? If so stuffing if not mashed potatoes.
We say that if it's not baked in the bird, then you call it dressing...if it comes out of the bird, then it's stuffing. Kind of Like the Hatfields and the Mccoys?
We were also schooled in stuffing in the bird, dressing in the baking dish. We made dressing at the resort, but stuffing at our own home table. Probably a good idea....
I never knew the difference. So I make dressing then, I don't put it in the bird. So I guess it's a side. Its my favorite!
AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
Fennel gratin, made the way I was taught by my host mother in Florence, years ago. I rarely make it, but when I do, I always think of my time in Italy. Plus, it's one of my son's favorite foods, and he is most appreciative. I'll have to post the recipe . . . . it's not fancy, but it's delicious! ;o)
Please post it soon!
Oh yes, please do!
I would love to have that recipe, please post!
I'd love to see the recipe too! Sounds right up my alley.
Okay, I'll do so this weekend. I have the recipe in a Word file, but just need to find the time to post. In the interest of full disclosure, I've added two ingredients to Graziella's recipe, but with a very light touch. ;o)
for me, it's my carmelized brussles sprouts with root vegetables but for my husband and daughter, it's the noodles by edge over the potatoes.
Lisanne is a trusted home cook.
Probably my mother's orange-glazed sweet potatoes with pecans. Or Laxmi Hiremath's Hot and Sweet Cranberry Chutney from the San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook. Yum.
Okay listen up: Cranberry sauce in the can.
It must have ridges..it wiggle..it must be semi-clear.
If you hate that you hate your mother.
Sure put another cranberry sauce on the table..I'd suggest NPR's Cranberry sauce.
Shocking pink color..and tastes wonderful.
And a green bean cassrole, with the creme of mushroom soup and canned onions topping.
Just to look at you don't have to eat it..just gaze at it and remember..."oh why..oh why".
(I'm serious about the canned cranberry sauce tho).
I'd have to skip Thanksgiving and go with Calvin Trillin's Spaghetti Carbonarra before I'd ever put canned cranberry sauce or the green bean thing on my table. Always hated both whenever I had to encounter them. Sorry.
That's hilarious. I sooooo grew up with the canned cranberry sauce sliced at the Thanksgiving table (with ridges, 100% smooth, no cranberry chunks allowed.) My mother is a fabulous cook in so many ways, but real cranberries are anathema to her.
hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.
Cranberry sauce in a can is literally the only food my husband doesn't like. The inventor of that nasty green bean casserole should be shot. It is just plain yucky.
cream of mushroom soup in any form or recipe just ..... makes.... me.....(runs off)
cream of mushroom soup in any form or recipe just ..... makes.... me.....(runs off in haste)
Sam1148, I mentioned in your other thread that I make a canned cranberry sauce "sandwich". It's really good, and you can play around with the filling - cream cheese with ground walnuts, or something fancier.
It is great to hear someone else mention their fear/dislike of cream of mushroom soup (canned). I refuse to use it and am considered a "food snob" in my office and among friends. There is always a better solution for me that to use that congealed mass. UGH.
In my family we have both those who can't live without the canned cranberry slices, and those who want the real deal cranberry sauce complete with big chunks of cranberry and flecks of orange zest. The answer... we have both! Years ago my mom taught me a simple recipe for cranberry sauce with red wine, orange juice and nutmeg. I have been making it faithfully ever since and serving it alongside the canned slices.
GrowCookEat, you should post that recipe! I recently tested for community picks a wonderful fruit compote to serve with roast pork tenderloin, made with apples, red wine, grapes and raisins. Although I routinely add red wine to my braised cabbage with apples, carrots and/or beets, I'd never thought to use it with a fruit compote like that. Your cranberry sauce sounds similar. So I'd love to see your recipe! Thanks. ;o)
We always make a whole cranberry sauce with port and a little ginger or cinnamon and it is all gone by the end. HOWEVER, my brother loves the cranberry sauce in a can so we serve it and always have some left. This year, I have just tested (and enthusiastically liked) a homemade smooth cranberry semi-clear, wiggly sauce in this month's Bon Appetit. We will be serving that one instead of the can this year along with the other one. I am betting it will be all gone, too!
Last couple of years, this has been our stuffing and not a speck left no matter how many batches I make!
Thanks mrs. wheelbarrow!
I'm a sweet potato casserole girl! Though not the kind with marshmallows I'm afraid. I've been making the CI version with a pecan streusel topping for the past few years, and its hard for me to imagine Thanksgiving without it!
I love the sausage and fennel stuffing (or I guess it is really dressing since I don't stuff the bird) from the late Gourmet magazine. I have been making it for at least ten years. It is divine! http://www.epicurious.com...
I would go with Root Gratin, which is posted on this site. The dish is creamy, tasty, and can be adjusted for taste depending on the ratio of the types of roots you use. The Retro topping - Ritz Crackers - adds crunch and contrasts nicely with the cream gratin. Plus, it passes the leftover test - it's just as good or even better the next day, hot or cold. We have been serving this dish for decades.
Pat is a trusted home cook.
For me it's stuffing/dressing..I used to roast the turkeys and "stuff" them, but now that we fry the turkeys I make "dressing" but always nestle a few roasted turkey wings and thighs in the casserole.
Favorite side is cornbread dressing closely followed by sweet potatoes mashed with fresh ginger, cream and butter. Can't wait!
The Ottolenghi Cookbook's fennel and pomegranate salad. It has sumac and feta in it, too, as well as tarragon to heighten the licorice taste in the fennel. The crisp and slightly astringent fennel, sprinkled with creamy feta with nuggets of tart-sweet pomegranate create a real palate-cleanser for the traditional Thanksgiving (or Christmas, or Easter) fare.
What a mouth watering description. That cookbook is so beautiful
Mashed potatoes with goat cheese and caramelized onions!!
That's coming to our Bird!
The turkey is fussed over as if it were the diva of the meal, but in reality, it's everything else that can make or break this day! As Sam1148 reminds, there are expectations and those must be met for everyone to feel satisfied. Our family looks forward to the turkey, gravy, dressing and the mashed russets and candied sweet potatoes along with creamed onions, savory mushrooms in wine, and various vegetable dishes; but it's the sauerkraut dish that everyone, specifically, asks about first, just to make sure it will not be forgotten, especailly if we are invited to another family member's home. I was raised with sauerkraut at Thanksgiving, not liking it as a kid, (a counter point to all the richness of the meal, my Mother said) but it was part of the fragrance and flavor of the holiday meal. Later, when I thought I'd discontinue this crazy tradition, something seemed wrong with the picture...so I brought it back. My children and husband felt the same way I did as a kid when they saw it, but now they love it and it's the first thing they ask about even though it's not the "first fork" of the meal. (frankly, it stands on it's own at other meals and must be made the same way to dress a polish dog as well as served alone!)
Sauerkraut was a tradition when I was growing up also...baked with onions, paprika, butter and the pan drippings from the turkey. After my mom passed I continued the tradition but now lighten it up with fresh cabbage added. We never forget mom at Thanksgiving
Sherried Potatoes Au Gratin. A favorite from my childhood, and it's not Thanksgiving without out. My husband has even given up his mashed potatoes & gravy, to make more room at the table for this.
This sounds wonderful.
Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.
I make a casserole of sweet potatoes and apples that a cousin gave me a long time ago. And then I have to make the sweet potatoes with marshmallows for the 1950's purists. (And Sam, while I can't be in the same room with that green bean casserole, I love cranberries in all forms, including the jellied ones that plop out of the can. Which is weird, really, considering that I don't really like jelled food.
We do a double sweet potato dish at our table - marshmallows for the kids, and then a dish that is more savory.
Interesting how this thread is looking a lot like the "foods that divide" hotline question . . . That speaks to the passion each of us has for memory-evoking traditional foods. I for one have had sole control over 90% of the Thanksgiving meals I and my family have eaten over the past 25 years, and the rule here is, "Mother can make whatever she wants." I suppose that means that I have raised two children without Thanksgiving food prejudices. But they also look forward to whatever new dish they'll be trying on T-Day, because they know it will have been carefully chosen and will taste great. For example, last year, I made melissav's rustic bread and chorizo stuffing. I chose it because my sons have lived in Spain and adore chorizo. They devoured it enthusiastically. Each family member does have a favorite item that I will make, to please them. In some cases, they are items other family members don't love. But who cares? Incidentally, last year we had an all-food52 Thanksgiving. The turkey qualifies because it was attempted and turned out to be a great success entirely due to the generosity of the foodpicklers here. We'll be doing an all-FOOD52 T-day again this year, too. ;o)
I like that rule, AJ! The chief cook should have the latitude to create whatever dish pleases her/his fancy!
One year I made some sort of green mashed potatoes from an issue of Gourmet. Another year some sort of roasted carrot and root vegetable dish. They were somehow very involved and detailed and were not worth the effort. One year I made dressing with sausages and they were a little dry by the time we ate and it just wasn't like my mother's. There was the year I didn't cook and we all went to a restaurant and I ordered a steak. It just didn't do it for me. On T-day I gotta have certain traditionals, with maybe one interesting new side. Otherwise I miss it all year. So I innovate the rest of the year but stick with the taste of home on Thanksgiving.
June is a trusted source on General Cooking.
My favorite side is roasted brussels sprouts, chestnuts and pearl onions. (with garlic, olive oil and herbes de Provence). Thanksgiving can also be about creating traditions of your own. And about a beautiful, healthy meal.
Oh, I forgot that there is a dish that many put as #1 at our table - the Gourmet Cookbook Caramelized Pearl Onions! Two ingredients - butter and honey! That has been on our menu even longer than the Root Gratin.
amysarah is a trusted home cook.
Truth be told, I'm not that big a fan of hot turkey (love cold sandwiches from the leftovers though!) - even though I always buy a good fresh one from a local farm. So, the sides are very critical for me ;)
My family also likes to have some new dishes every year; they're all pretty adventurous eaters, so I don't feel limited in that regard. However, there are also some dishes I know they look forward to each year - good stuff, so I'm more than happy to comply. My daughter at college is already talking about my sweet potatoes with pecans/brown sugar crisp, so of course I'm doing those. Some years I alternate with a sweet potato souffle with rum (a misnomer - not really a souffle, just a bit puffy from eggs.) Also, I usually do some array of roast root veg's - though I switch up the glaze. Most often, it's cornbread/sausage stuffing, but this year I'm doing one with baguettes I purchased 1/2 price and froze - with dried cranberries, sausage, sage, caramelized onions, etc. Will do some kind of brussels sprouts, fresh cranberries...still pondering new recipes there. And I'm getting way too hungry just thinking about this, so I better stop.
I think I may try this....
Fresh green beans, steamed, with a basil dressing.
Roasted root vegetables--carrots, onions, beets, potatoes, celery root, maybe some Brussels sprouts thrown in for good measure. Thyme and rosemary, olive oil, s&p. Never fails to win my heart over almost anything else at the table.
Roasted vegetables are so delicious, and the beauty of them is they are so easy to prepare - basically chop, slice, and roast.
Every thanksgiving, I insist on creamed onions. They're actually not particularly tasty, how my family makes them, and only I eat them, but it's what my grandmother fed me and gosh darnit it's what I'll eat!
Cranberry sauce is a must, as well. Out of a can AND homemade both on the table, please. And i'm strongly considering bringing my new obsession: http://www.food52.com/recipes... this year. To add some healthy greens to the meal ;)
Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.
I got to take over Thanksgiving last year (finally! Hurrah!) and since we have 25-30 folks (and that is just immediate family) I can get away with a pretty vast array. One thing I added last year that was completely scarfed up is AntoniaJames' Brilliant Autumn Salad with roasted beets and carrots, I will be doubling that this year. We have bread and cornbread dressing, turkey and ham - and this year there will be a mountainous platter of smoked turkey legs too. Mr L's mashed potatoes, and then the siblings all bring sides too. Father in law will ONLY eat canned cranberry - so we have canned and homemade both. Both pie fianlists from last year, plus pumpkin flan.
I like making my Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf. Lundberg makes a great wild rice blend, that when you cook it and add cranberries, sauteed onions and pecans, makes and excellent side dish. I have the full recipe I use up on the Recipe page.
Rachael is a trusted home cook.
Oh, stuffing. Loads and loads of stuffing. There's a side dish one (usually some combination of sour dough, sausage, sage and apple) and the traditional one which I put in the bird. I know, I know, you shouldn't but I do anyway. Food borne pathogens wouldn't DARE put a damper on my favorite holiday! Then for breakfast the next day I'll mix left over mashed pots with left over stuffing, fry it up on the stove in loads of butter and put an egg on top. I really think that leftovers are my favorite part of Thanksgiving!
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
Spaghetti carbonara. Actually I prefer that to turkey.
We always have home-made ravioli on the table at Thanksgiving for those of us that aren't turkey fans.
Ok I am tooting my own horn here but this recipe is really (REALLY) good and I've been making them for Thanksgiving for decades:
That IS a beautiful dish!
Thanks for reminding us of that beautiful dish, SU
It isn't Thanksgiving without the old (great grandma used to make it) family standby -- Celery Root Salad. It is a very old-fashioned, heavy, salad with cubed cooked celery root, scallions, green pepper, chopped up boiled eggs, topped with oil and vinegar, salt, pepper and celery seeds. Another newer tradition in our family -- I announced one year (after too many of cooking all day to have it eaten in a flash) that I would cook the turkey and make celery root salad, but if anyone wanted anything else they would have to make it. After a long silence, my (then) 10 year old daughter announced she would make pumpkin pie, then my 14 year old daughter said she'd do dressing and mashed potatoes, then my husband piped up that he'd make nachos. Whatever. It not only gave insight into what was most important to everyone, but ever since we've all spent each Thanksgiving day enjoying each others' company and working together in the kitchen -- that has been far more meaningful to me than the actual meal we create (which, we also enjoy!)
We have 8-20 people for Thanksgiving and I stopped making everything about 18 years ago. People bring what was most important for them and another adventurous dish. We have vegans, gluten frees, meat-eaters - the whole gamut. Everyone is VERY excited about the variety of sides. When I make green bean casserole from scratch (a streamlined version of one developed by Cook's Illustrated) it is all gone! We have up to 3 kinds of dressing, always cranberries 2 ways, salads, Southern praline sweet potato casserole (ridiculously rich and always disappears), greens, spinach salad with pears and pomegranates, greens, several pies, and assorted appetizers for while we are setting up. The turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy are really the excuse for all the sides.
Please enter a valid email address.
Well played. You deserve a cookie.
Muffin top cookies!
Recipes You Loved
Our Shop Team's Picks
A New Cookbook on Cast-Iron Skillet Cooking
Our Best Sellers
prevented successful signup:
We'll never post anything without your permission.
prevented successful login:
Thanks for signing up!
Connect with us to get more Food52!
Sign up for our useful, inspired emails and we'll
give you everything you need to eat and live better—including
recipes, how-tos, and exclusives and great gift ideas from our
kitchen and home shop.