A Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish
This year, since Thanksgiving falls so close to my due date (just 3 weeks to go!), my family is coming to us for the holiday! Which thrills me to no end because I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I love menu planning, figuring out the timing (what can be made ahead? what goes into the oven when?), eating all the food (of course), but most of all, having everyone gathered around the table for a festive fall meal.
My tendency when I make Thanksgiving dinner is to keep a few tried-and-true standard dishes that I’ve grown up with and loved, but also to audition a few new dishes each year. Ours is not a house where the same dishes will show up ad infinitum for the rest of our lives…there’s just too many tasty things to try! However, the two dishes that we always have on the menu are butternut squash and apple bake, and this marbleized root vegetable puree. (Yes, we love carbs in my family.)
I first had this dish about 10 years ago at a potluck hosted by the faculty member whose lab I worked in during college…and since then, it’s been a regular feature on our Thanksgiving table. It’s a real looker of a dish, stunning in its autumnal colors and swirls, but beyond aesthetics, it’s a great way to showcase the many root vegetables in season this time of year. I was lucky enough this year to get all of the ingredients (well, except for the butter, cream and nutmeg) from our Full Plate Farms and Finger Lakes Fruit Bowl CSA shares: Yukon Gold potatoes, turnips, parsnips, carrots, and a pear.
And finally, I had to post this last picture, because it’s the state of my life right now: every time I go to take a picture and look down, this big belly gets in the way!! Baby Eggs on Sunday will be here before we know it, and we’re so excited — much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!
Marbleized Root Vegetable Puree
recipe from Bon Appetit
This is a delicious and beautiful way to showcase all of the root vegetables in season around Thanksgiving. It can be made and assembled a day or two ahead, stored in the refrigerator, and baked just before serving.
2 pounds potatoes (I like Yukon Gold or Russet), peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
8 ounces turnips, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
8 ounces parsnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium pear, peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup whipping cream
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Additional ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350°F and butter a 2-quart baking dish (I use a 9×9 square ceramic baking pan.)
Place the potato, turnip, parsnip and pear chunks in a large pot of cold salted water. Bring it to a boil, and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the veg and return them to the pan; continue to cook over low heat for another minute until any excess moisture evaporates. Add the cream and 5 tablespoons of butter, and then mash until smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Meanwhile, cook the carrots in another pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain them, let cool just slightly, and transfer them to a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, and puree until smooth (this usually takes me a few minutes, and I pause periodically to scrape down any chunks on the sides of the processor bowl.) Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Spoon the potato and carrot purees, alternating by 1/2 cupfuls, into the buttered baking dish. Draw a knife through the purees to marbleize, then drizzle 1 tablespoon of melted butter over the whole dish. Sprinkle with a little additional nutmeg. Cover with foil (at this point you can refrigerate it for a day or two.) Bake the foil-covered puree until it’s heated through, about 35 minutes (or 45 minutes if chilled.)