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5 Fresh and Flavourful Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Thanksgiving turkey

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and without fail, it's always a mad dash to the succulent-turkey-finish line every year. Oftentimes, we end up cooking what we know for big dinners like these, but why not try something new this year?

In anticipation of the holiday, we've gathered a handful of delicious and zesty side dishes that feature fresh, vibrant herbs.

Here are five fresh and flavourful Thanksgiving side dish recipes.

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Shaved Cauliflower Salad

Shaved Cauliflower Salad

From Happyolks

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head of a large cauliflower
  • 1 medium sized radicchio, cored
  • 6 inner celery stalks with leaves
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup honey glazed walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp water
  • 4-5 medjool dates, pitted
  • salt/pepper

Method

  1. Break out your mandoline and shave the cauliflower as thin as the setting allows. Shave the radicchio by hand with a sharp knife. Place in a mixing bowl. Remove celery leaves and toss into the bowl. Cut the remaining stalks into thin matchsticks and add to the mix. Add parsley leaves and chopped chives.
  2. For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender and puree until smooth. Mix with the veggies and add lemon zest or more citrus juice and salt to your liking.
  3. For the walnuts, preheat the oven to 350.’ Massage walnuts with honey and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10 + minutes or until just toasty. Comine with salad mixture and serve at room temperature.

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Beet and Apple Salad

From Food & Wine

Ingredients

  • 4 large beets (2 1/2 pounds)
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1/3 cup salted pistachios, chopped
  • 1 green apple, thinly sliced

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a baking dish, lightly drizzle the beets and thyme with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast until the beets are tender, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Let cool, then peel the beets and cut them into 3/4-inch dice.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the mustard. Whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of oil until emulsified. Add the horseradish and season with salt and pepper; toss with the beets and pistachios. Transfer the beets to a platter, top with the apple and serve.

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Roasted Sweet Potato Slices with Cilantro Pesto

Roasted Sweet Potato Slices with Cilantro Pesto

From The Kitchn

Ingredients

For the sweet potatoes:

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Chunky kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pesto:

  • 2 bunches cilantro
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 hot pepper such as jalapeño or Thai, optional
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 450°F. Slice the sweet potatoes in rounds about 1/2-inch-thick. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush with the olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until tender and slightly browned.
  2. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, make the pesto. Roughly chop the cilantro and blend both leaves and stems with the coconut, pistachios, garlic, hot pepper (if using), and lemon juice. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and blend until smooth. Add the rest, if desired. Taste and add salt (or more garlic, or more acid) until satisfied. If desired, thin the pesto with water to make it spreadable.
  3. When sweet potatoes are cooked through, spread on a platter and top with pesto. Serve immediately.

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Brussels Sprouts with Thyme and Lemon

From Food & Wine

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, thinly sliced lengthwise

Method

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the mustard with the vinegar. Gradually whisk in the 1/4 cup of oil until emulsified. Add the thyme and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, until shimmering. Add the brussels sprouts and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender and charred in spots, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in half of the dressing. Transfer to a bowl. Serve.

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Creamed Mushrooms on Chive Butter Toast

Creamed Mushrooms on Chive Butter Toast

From Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, or a mix of wild mushrooms such as morels, shiitakes, oysters or chanterellas
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, more for toast
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine or white vermouth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Slices brioche or good white bread, crusts cut off if desired
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
  • Coarse sea salt such as fleur de sel or Maldon, for garnish

Method

  1. Clean excess dirt from mushrooms. Slice mushrooms in half lengthwise and brush away any grit; chop into 1/4-inch pieces.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until very limp, about three minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, for about five minutes. Add wine, reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for about five minutes more. (There are a lot of “abouts” on the cooking times because I found that mine took less time at each step; however, I also may have chopped my mushrooms and shallots smaller than the recommended size.)
  3. Uncover pot and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about two minutes. Stir in cream; simmer until slightly thickened, two minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Toast bread and spread with butter. (Clark recommended four slices of brioche, to make eight toasts, but I had enough mushrooms for almost triple that.) Cut each slice in half diagonally and sprinkle lightly with chives. Top each toast triangle with some mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with additional chives, garnish with sea salt, and serve.

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Need more time? An Urban Cultivator Residential would cut your prep time down considering that you can literally harvest vegetables, herbs, and microgreens just seconds before you plate them!

Plus, with a Cultivator, you'd never find yourself fighting over the last package of sage at the grocery store.

What are your favourite Thanksgiving side dishes? What are you thankful for this year? Let us know in the comments section!

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