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Ideas for green side dishes for Thanksgiving?

  • w

I've been planning my big Thanksgiving meal for a long time now. I already have my ususal suspects lined up, sweet potato, cranberry sauce, turkey, stuffing etc. But I'm still lacking in the "green" catagory. I don't want brussle sprouts, and I don't want creamed anything. I'm not talking about salads or squashes. I really want something in the color of green.

Any ideas??

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  1. You have probably already thought of this but I think green beans would be perfect. Saute them with some garlic (or not) and have a simple sidedish.

    The only other green vegetable I can think that is not on your list is zuchini which would also be good. You can saute zuchini in som eolive oil and then sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese over it (let hte cheese toast a bit as well). This is my variation of a zuchini and parmesan casserole type dish I think I found on epicurious, if you are interested.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rkn

      Saute spinach with raisens & pine nuts

    2. I second the recommendation for green beans, although I would probably saute with some shallots instead.

      Another option would be broccoli- either steamed with some butter or roasted (but oven space is always a consideration on Thanksgiving.)

      Definitely not spinach- it has too much flavor.

      You could also do steamed peas and mint.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Meils

        Another good topping for broccoli is lemon pepper. After steaming, add some butter and lemon pepper (maybe some salt) to taste. Not sure how lemony fits with the rest of your Thanksgiving menu, but it's easy and good.

        Have you tried broccolini? It's a cross between regular broccoli and Chinese broccoli. Really good but more expensive. This in itself would be something different for Thanksgiving. It's good with lemon pepper as well.

        Link: http://home.earthlink.net/~kitpath/ki...

        1. re: PizzaFace

          Do you blanch the broccolini briefly and dunk in cold water and then saute in olive oil and garlic?
          Or go right to saute with raw vegetables?

          1. re: vozick

            For broccolini, I throw it in boiling water for a second just to heat it up. Then I drain it, throw a pat of butter on there, season it and eat it. Still crunchy and hot. I think you could go right to the saute without blanching it.

      2. I just thought of aspargus although it's not seasonal.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rkn

          I always serve aparagus. It may not be seasonal but its always available.

        2. Here's a link to a very nice recipe for green beans with roasted onions...am making it again this year by popular demand...ALSO, how about a tossed salad? I have tossed salad with Thanksgiving all the time (well, we have fresh greens every night too, living in FL, it's easy to do with fresh tomatoes year round) because I can't stand all the brown dishes on the table!

          Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

          1. How about kale? It's so easy to prepare. Wilt it and add a little lemon juice.

            1 Reply
            1. re: poppytrail

              Second kale, though I do more than wilt it. I separate stalks from leaves, chop stalks crosswise (1/4" or so), boil 5 minutes, add leaves, boil another 4-5 minutes, drain. Then toss with lemon- or garlic- (or both) butter, or chopped bacon and garlic sauteed in a little oil or butter. Kale has a clean mineraly flavor that's a good contrast to the rich and sweet dishes. And it sure is green.

            2. I'm always a fan of green beans, but this year I'm thinking perhaps peas and pearl onions. A light coating with butter and perhaps some tarragon. Perhaps roasting the pearl onions first.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Linda W.

                Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking has an absolutely wonderful pea recipe, made with small cipollini onions, prosciutto, and mint.

              2. Went through the very same thing last year!

                I ended up tossing snap peas with a good olive oil & kosher salt and roasting them. They were very low maintenance, which is very helpful when preparing a miriad of dishes.

                  1. re: Tatania

                    That's exactly what I was going to recommend. I've made braised leeks for Thanksgiving, and they're always a big hit.

                    1. re: L-pie

                      Plus, you can use the braising liquid in the gravy.

                  2. You might be interested in what I call "zucchini pasta." Made this last night, in fact, to accompany my salmon. Although zucchini is a common vegetable, the long thin shape gives it a delicate and unique texture/mouthfeel. Also nice to mix with yellow squash for added color.

                    Slice zucchini lengthwise into long med. size julienned strips, all even but not too thin otherwise it will fall apart. In a large non-stick skillet on med. heat, melt 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. olive oil. Saute thinly sliced disks of garlic until pale brown. Add zucchini and salt and pepper to taste. Saute for few min. til some parts have pale golden color. Add a splash of white wine or broth and burn off alcohol. When strips are tender but still hold shape, add dill and red pepper flakes. Take off heat and serve soon.

                    1. Here's a good recipe:

                      Green Beans with Garlic

                      1 pound Fresh green beans
                      1/4 cup Olive oil
                      2 cloves garlic, minced
                      1/2 cup Short strips of prosciutto or pancetta
                      1/4 cup Chopped fresh parsley

                      Trim beans and cook, uncovered, in lightly salted, boiling water until tender but still bright green and a bit crisp. Drain.

                      In large skillet, heat oil; saute garlic and prosciutto (if using,) parsley, and salt to taste.

                      Saute for 2 to 3 minutes, turning vegetables gently.

                      Serve hot.

                      Makes 4 to 6 servings

                      Paraphrased from Canadian Living Magazine

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Nancy Berry

                        Here's another good recipe that I've paraphrased from Rachael Ray.

                        Swiss Chard and Golden Raisins

                        2 1/2 pounds Swiss chard
                        = (the average weight of 2 bundles)
                        1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
                        1/8 pound pancetta or bacon, chopped
                        1 small yellow-skinned onion, chopped
                        1/4 cup golden raisins
                        14 ounces chicken stock or broth
                        Coarse salt, to taste
                        1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
                        = (or equivalent of freshly grated)

                        Coarsely chop chard. Add oil, pancetta, and chopped onion to a saute pan over medium-high heat and cook 2 or 3 minutes until onions begin to soften and pancetta is lightly browned. Add chopped chard to pan in large bunches, adding remaining chard as the greens wilt.

                        Toss in the raisins, add the broth and season with salt and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer greens 10 to 15 minutes until greens are no longer bitter. Serve immediately.

                        This recipe yields 6 servings.

                        You can use other greens in this recipe.

                        1. re: Nancy Berry

                          Great Recipe!

                          We usually saute some chard or collards with chopped up bacon & shallots, which gives it that nice smoky flavor. Goes so well with thanksgiving dinner. I like the adding the golden raisins.

                      2. Hi,
                        I have a great, easy recipe for a broccoli, corn, and cream corn casserole--it never fails to please --can be made in the morning or even the nite before and cooks in the oven while the turkey is resting. Let me know if you would like the recipe, I'd be happy to share it with you. It's always hard to have a green vegie dish that most people like and isn't a pain to make or a pain to find the right ingredients. Again, if your interested, I'd be happy to share!

                        1. OK - I'm going to step out on a limb and suggest Brussel Sprouts. But not steamed or boiled (yecch). I cut them in half and sautee them in olive oil and shallots and then sprinkle on some toasted, chopped hazelnuts and a little lemon juice.

                          I also saw a recipe some time ago for slicing/shredding them and sauteeing in a little bacon fat and adding crumbled bacon before serving.

                          1. I had some wonderful green beans recently that were dressed in a sesame oil based dressing. Really delicious!

                            1. This is really voluptuous, and I usually save it for Christmas dinner. If your sweet potatoes involve a lot of brown sugar, pecans, etc., adding this would be a bit over the top. Anyway, drain two cans of whole green beans and cut a pound of bacon in half. Wrap several beans in each piece of bacon and place in an oblong baking dish. Saute two pods of garlic in a stick of butter (this year I may try to get by with a half stick) until all the butter is melted, then remove the garlic. Add 1/4 cup of brown sugar and dissolve. Pour butter and sugar mixture over the beans and bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 15 minutes.

                              Last year I posted a green bean/shoepeg corn recipe that we like; it also involves sour cream and sauteed onions. If you are interested, I can repost it.