Making Thanksgiving dinner on your own can be a daunting task – even for your more experienced cooks. Just because I’m a cooking blogger doesn’t mean that all my meals turn out perfect, or that I’m an expert in all things culinary, or that I have some awesome Viking professional kitchen….
And the Thanksgiving dinner that I cooked Sunday reminded me of just that. Yes, I know Thanksgiving is still two weeks away (actually, only 10 days) but I wanted to share two of my favorite recipes with you. And that I can do.
Things did not go desperately awry, but the day did start with my big, hairy, surprise dinner guest canceling to rush off to a paying job (men!). So before you charge into that kitchen determined to cook your family a mouthwatering feast they will never forget, I have these two tips to share:
1. Read your recipes and directions carefully.
2. Cook side dishes in advance (esp. if you’re like me and have only ONE oven).
The Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic-Lemon Vinaigrette can be cooked before the turkey and served at room temperature or reheated before serving. “Roasted vegetables are downright scrumptious. It’s an easy method that creates caramelization on the exterior, a beautiful browning that yields pleasant sweet flavors. It’s a sweetness that masks any of a vegetable’s subtle bitterness”, raved Cathy Thomas in a recent article.
Another great thing about this dish is that it combines several Thanksgiving staples into one delicious side dish that makes a visually beautiful presentation.
Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic-Lemon Vinaigrette
(adapted from Bon Appétit, November 1997)
2 lb. red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams)
(about 3 med.) peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 acorn squash, quartered lengthwise, seeded, cut crosswise into ½ inch slices
1 lb. brussel sprouts, trimmed, halved lengthwise
2 t. chopped fresh rosemary or 1 t. dried
2 T. olive oil
1 whole garlic head, top ½ inch trimmed
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 t. grated lemon peel *
3 T. olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Prepare vegetables. Transfer to large roasting pan. Drizzle with 2 T. olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt & pepper. Toss to coat.
Place garlic head, cut side up, on small piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with 1 t. olive oil, wrap up and place in roasting pan with vegetables.
Roast until vegetables are tender and brown in spots, turning occasionally, about 45 minutes.
Unwrap garlic, peel and thinly slice. Transfer garlic and vegetables to a large bowl.
Whisk vinegar, lemon peel and olive oil. Toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature.
*Notes: A “microplaner” is a must-have for any kitchen.
Come visit TopMom on Friday when I’ll share the sure-to-become- a-family-favorite turkey recipe that my family has enjoyed since 1997.