If there is any holiday that illustrates the best of American life, it’s Thanksgiving. It is the quintessential representation of America as seen on its dinner tables. No matter who you are or where you come from, you own the menu. It’s like a Gershwin classic; as American as apple pie, yet open to many interpretations. Like the nation itself, it stays fresh by keeping flexible, and it welcomes, and even encourages, innovation.
I always loved experiencing other people’s takes on Thanksgiving across religions and cultures. My own personal Thanksgiving meal history includes curried Indian turkey, turkey in mole with rice and beans and my husband’s inimitable Aunt Virginia and her muumuu clad, rhinestone-studded, cigarette holder-waving self, serving her Italian-American Thanksgiving Extravaganza.
But as adaptable as the Thanksgiving menu is, sometimes there are challenges to be met. Food sensitivities, principles and predilections may call for more creativity.
Side dishes are great because even on a day when a big roast bird usually takes center stage, some forethought can provide vegetarians and vegans with delicious alternatives. While I can’t promise that the following recipes will cause your gun-toting, NRA-supporting sister to fully embrace your tree-hugging, bearded, pacifist brother on the day, this ample and inclusive menu will certainly give everyone common ground: something delicious to agree upon!
Harvest Vegan Thanksgiving
String beans almondine
Wild mushroom gravy
Cranberry orange relish
Veggie Cornbread stuffing
Olive oil and garlic mashed potatoes
Indian pudding with pumpkin ice cream
Sweet potato pie with candied pecan crust
Cheese table with sliced apples and crostini
Giant Brie en croute with Calvados apple compote
Assorted olives and assorted nuts
Kabocha cheese pie
Thanksgiving Dinner for the Turkey lover
Turkey en Croute with oyster stuffing (turkey breast seared, stuffed and wrapped in puff pastry)
Pancetta-roasted brussel sprouts
Turkey Veloute gravy
Buttermilk mashed potatoes
Cranberry-Candied carrots (wrote recipe)
Order your pumpkin pies from Briermere. Have Pumpkin ice cream, homemade whipped cream and chocolate truffles.
Serve hot apple toddies
If cooking a Kosher dinner, I like Empire turkey breast and use the vegan side dishes without butter or dairy.
Look for our posting for wines for your Thanksgiving table.