Planning Thanksgiving Dinner

turnipsThanksgiving’s less than a week away, and last night I started thinking about the menu. Mashed potatoes were first on the list. A parade of starchy fall and green vegetables passed through my mind, and I started thinking about texture. How to vary the tastes, textures and shapes… Baby turnips… Tender baby turnips cut lengthwise so they look like hearts, and sautéed in a cast iron pan until caramelized. There’s a pleasing fresh, watery, crunch in a baby turnip cooked this way.
turnips caramelized

No caramelized Brussels sprouts on my Thanksgiving this table year. I lifted that recipe from Martha Stewart Living around 20 years ago (food sleuths, what was her source?). In the last year of dining out in restaurants I’ve been inundated with sweet Brussels sprouts dishes. Hold the sweet. Instead, I’m inspired by Boca in Stamford’s raw Brussels sprouts, shaved into a light-textured, pale-green pile, tossed in vinaigrette and sprinkled with chopped, toasted hazelnuts. Or I might do a raw collard’s dish, julienned leaves rubbed in oil, tossed with vinegar, salt, pepper and sliced scallions. There will be a raw dish on the table. It all depends on what’s looking good at the farmer’s market.