Let’s face it, Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes. Yes, the bird is necessary and delicious, and it’s also impossible to make stellar gravy without the turkey pan drippings. That being said, when I envision my perfect Thanksgiving meal, my mind drifts towards stuffing and green beans, butter-laden mashed potatoes and jewel-toned cranberry sauce, with the turkey holding steady in 4th or 5th place. The irony then, is that the turkey itself pretty much hogs the oven and a lot of your time on the day of, leaving you very little wiggle room to make the sides. So, here we have a small collection of recipes from our beloved food bloggers to solve this problem. The recipes below can all be made well in advance and don’t require shared quarters with the turkey in the oven.
Root Vegetable Gratin
A cacophony of sweet and earthy root vegetables is a great addition to any fall gathering. The dish is rich and delicious but not too heavy with the addition of the stock. The gratin can also be made several days prior and then reheated at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until heated through.
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 sweet potatoes (1½ lbs) peeled
1 rutabega (1½ lb), peeled
2 large parsnips (1 lb), peeled
2 medium shallots
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
½ cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz gruyere, grated
Using a mandoline, slice all of the vegetables 1/8 inch thick. Brush a 9-by-12-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with some of the melted butter. Place the sliced vegetables, melted butter, thyme, 2½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl and toss to combine. Pour the chicken stock and cream in and around the vegetables. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. At this point the dish can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375. Removed plastic wrap and then cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour, until the vegetables are almost tender when pierced.
Remove the foil and scatter cheese over the top. Bake for about 35-40 minutes longer, until the liquid has thickened and top is nicely browned. Allow to sit for least 10 minutes before serving.
Purple Clover SLIDESHOW: Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Side Dishes to Die For