I’m probably not the first person who’ll say that Thanksgiving dinner is all about the sides. The big bird at the center of the table gets all the attention but it’s all the dishes that surround it that really makes it a meal.
Today I’m sharing with you two recipes: one from Chef Bryan Voltaggio’s new cookbook “Home: Recipes to Cook with Family and Friends” and one I quickly made up myself. I’m a big fan of carrots (maybe because I was born in the year of the rabbit), so I gravitated to Voltaggio’s recipe for roasted carrots with chimichurri. It’s a recipe that uses the entire carrots too, including the carrot greens that are pulsed into the chimichurri.
BTW, I love how Voltaggio’s cookbook has an entire section on Thanksgiving, with several recipes (including one for making the turkey) to help you create a comforting family meal. His recipes do get a bit “cheffy” (for the chimichurri there were a lot of steps with the blanching of the greens and running through a sieve) but they’re definitely unique.
The other side is my miso-butter mashed potatoes, a simple recipe that adds a bit of umami funk to your potatoes with the miso. I used yukon gold potatoes, which will give your mashed potatoes dish a bit of a darker yellow shade (especially with the miso) but the creaminess makes you want to dip into that bowl of mashed potatoes more than once.
What’s your favorite sides for Thanksgiving? I hope you have a special holiday meal with friends and family. Enjoy!
Roasted Carrots with Chimichurri
Reprinted from “Home: Recipes to Cook with Family and Friends”; Little Brown)
13 medium carrots (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2 T light olive oil
3/4 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground Szechuan peppercorns
1/4 t fine sea salt
2 1/2 ounces carrot greens
1 ounce flat leaf parsley (I’m not a fan of flat leaf so I used cilantro)
1 clove garlic
2 1/2 T light olive oil
1 T red wine vinegar
1/2 t fine sea salt
1/2 t piment d’Espelette (I couldn’t find this specialty French chili powder so I substituted with smoked pimenton)
small carrot greens for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel the carrots and trim the ends. Set a large skillet with a lid or a Dutch oven over high heat and add the olive oil. When it begins to shimmer, add the carrots and cook, stirring until they are golden brown and caramelized. Add the cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns, and salt and stir to blend. Cover and transfer to the oven to cook for 35 minutes or until the carrots are completely tender.
To make the chimichurri sauce, bring to a boil a pot of salted water. Also, prepare an ice bath. Blanch the carrot greens for 2 to 3 minutes and transfer to the ice bath. Blanch the parsley for 1 minute and transfer to the ice bath. Once cool, squeeze out the parsley and carrot greens and put in a blender. Add the garlic, oil, red wine vinegar, salt and piment d’Espelette and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
Cut the carrots into bite size pieces and plate, then spoon chimichurri over the carrots and garnish with some carrot greens.
Miso-butter Mashed Potatoes
(Makes 5 to 6 servings)
1.5 – 2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes
2 T miso paste
4 T unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk
salt for seasoning
green onions for garnish
Peel potatoes and cut into about 1/2-inch thick slices (this helps them cook faster). Add potatoes to pot of water, then bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes until potatoes fall apart when pierced with a fork. Drain water and set potatoes aside.
In a small saucepan, melt butter and miso, whisking until everything is blended and mixed. Then pour into pot with potatoes and use a masher to mash the potatoes and blend the miso butter into the potatoes. Add the milk. Add more milk if you want the texture to be more creamy. Season with salt to taste. (You might not need as much salt as you typically use because of the miso is salty too.) Garnish with diced green onions and serve immediately.
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