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Thanksgiving Side Shows

Give your turkey day that extra wow with creative side dishes


A little of this, a lot of that—Thanksgiving is all about the smorgasbord of flavors, and local farmers markets offer a bounty of this and that. Gather Restaurant executive chef Sean Baker likes to maximize the sampling by cutting back on all the butter, cream, and gravy that can smother holiday favorites. “That alleviates the whole ‘I need to sleep three days after I eat’ thing,” he says. His recommendations:

Grilled Baby Artichokes

• Perhaps not how the Pilgrims started off their feast but too much of a California fall hallmark to pass up. Halve baby artichokes, then steam in a basket steamer over salted water until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Cool, then brush with olive oil,
and grill or broil a few minutes on each side. Serve with aioli.

Squash and Chicory Salad

• Peel and dice butternut squash (or your favorite local heirloom squash), and roast in the oven until soft, about 20 minutes, at 400 degrees. Cool slightly, then mix with a few handfuls of chicories, and toss with a red wine vinaigrette. Top with shaved aged Pecorino cheese. 

Deep-Fried Brussels Sprouts

• Fill a saucepan halfway full with rice bran oil (it will expand when heated). When the oil is hot (but not smoking), drop in a couple handfuls of quartered sprouts. Deep-fry until golden, then move to a paper towel, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Images Courtesty of Shutterstock

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