Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be one of the most stressful undertakings of the year — that is, if you don’t plan ahead.
That’s why we asked food blogger, home cook, and weekend-baker Alison from Two of a Kind for a couple of delicious and impressive side dishes for your big meal that will be sure to please both meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. Best of all: The dishes can be made long before your guests arrive! Start planning now and you’ll have Thanksgiving dinner on the table faster than you can say “turducken.”
Be sure to follow Two of a Kind on Instagram for more fantastic recipes throughout the season, too!
Vegetable Tarte Tatin
Makes one 9” tarte tatin
For the Crust:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp ice water
For the Filling:
- Neck of 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2”-thick rounds
- 6 large rainbow carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2”-thick rounds
- 1 small onion, cut into 1/2”-thick rounds
- 4 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes, divided (see notes below *)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 teaspoons water
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp fresh sage leaves
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella cheese (see notes below *)
Prepare the crust:
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.
- Add the butter and rub it into the flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles coarse meal.
- Add the egg yolk and water and mix with a fork.
- When the ingredients start to come together, use your hands to lightly knead the dough in the bowl until it forms a ball.
- Flatten the ball into a disc, wrap in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Prepare the filling:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut out circles of butternut squash with a small round cutter; I used a 3” and 1 1/4” round cutter.
- Place the butternut squash, carrots, onion and garlic on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes, and toss to coat.
- Bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and stir gently. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until vegetables are lightly caramelized and fork tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- In a small sauce pan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is amber colored, 6-7 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and slowly and carefully add the apple cider vinegar, stirring with a silicone spatula; the mixture will bubble. Then stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes.
Assemble and bake the tarte tatin:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Pour the sugar mixture into a 9” springform pan and spread in an even layer. Sprinkle on sage and thyme.
- Arrange the butternut squash and carrots in a single layer on top of the herbs. Scatter the onion and garlic over the butternut squash and carrots. Sprinkle on mozzarella cheese.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, roll it out to a 11″ circle. Place it on top of the filling and tuck the dough around the butternut squash and carrots; prick all over with a fork.
- Place the springform pan on a baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until the crust is golden brown, 20-25 minutes.
- Remove tarte tatin from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Then remove ring and place a platter on top of the tarte tatin; quickly and carefully invert. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
Makes 6 servings
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, vertically sliced into 1/8”-thick pieces
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup candied pecans, roughly chopped (see notes below **)
1. In a large bowl, combine the lemon zest and lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper; whisk until emulsified.
2. Add Brussels sprouts, pomegranate seeds and Pecorino Romano cheese and toss gently to combine.
3. Transfer to a shallow dish or serving platter and top with candied pecans. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.
* For a milder flavor, substitute black pepper and regular mozzarella cheese.
** If you prefer (or it’s more convenient), substitute toasted pecans. To toast raw pecans, cook them in a frying pan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Let cool and then chop.
- Prep prior to the big day. Start tackling the most time-consuming tarte tatin recipe steps on Thanksgiving Eve; this means assembling the dough and roasting the veggies. You can even make the shaved Brussels sprouts salad 24 hours in advance and store it in the fridge; it won’t get soggy, trust me.
- Customize the tarte tatin to your liking. Any winter squash or root vegetable will work in the filling. Don’t like carrots? Swap them out for parsnips, sweet potatoes or beets. You can also experiment with different herbs or cheeses.
- Serve these sides as entrées. Entertaining non-meat-eaters? They’ll be perfectly satisfied with a big slice of vegetable tarte tatin and a heap of shaved Brussels sprouts salad, so consider doubling the quantity.
In need of some inspiration for dressing up your dinner table? Take a look at our round-up of five different ways to wow your guests this Thanksgiving.