The leaves are turning colours and the sun is setting earlier and earlier every day – we’re officially knee deep in Fall. The cooler weather means that some of the best holidays are coming up, beginning with Thanksgiving. Any holiday that revolves around food and family is the best – and Thanksgiving is all about just that. It’s a long weekend to hang out inside in cozy socks as the temperature drops, roasting a turkey and baking pumpkin pies with friends and family.
Even though the turkey is usually the star of the show, it wouldn’t be a true Thanksgiving spread without some fabulous side dishes. Wow dinner guests with a wide variety ranging from traditional to downright decadent – read on to find some inspiration for your harvest table!
Roasted Maple Carrots
Roasted veggies are a thing of wonder; caramelized on the outside, warm and tender on the inside, this is definitely my favourite way to prepare them – especially root vegetables such as carrots and parsnips. Around this time at farmers markets and even local grocery stores, coloured carrots are all over the place. Ranging from deep purple to light yellow, these are a great addition to an autumn palette at the dinner table.
- 1 bag of coloured carrots
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh savory
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees (roasting veggies at a high temperature ensures the outsides get nice and charred and the insides stay crisp-tender instead of mushy).
- Wash and trim carrots, and place in a shallow baking dish.
- Mix all other together and drizzle over top of carrots, tossing to coat.
- Once oven is heated, roast carrots for about 4o minutes to an hour, turning once, until easily pierced with a sharp knife.
Chorizo, Sage and Shallot Stuffing
Stuffing is a must-have on the dinner table – everyone’s favourite dish! Give traditional stuffing a kick with smoky, savoury chorizo sausage, soft sage and caramelized shallots. Baked in a shallow dish and dotted with butter, every bite is crispy and fluffy and full of flavour.
- 1 loaf soft white bread (challah, french or brioche work well)
- 2 links of chorizo sausage
- 5 shallots, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons of butter, plus more for greasing your dish
- 1 cup low salt chicken stock, cooled or at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Tear bread into 1 inch chunks and toast until golden brown and crunchy (don’t skip this step! this is what gives you the perfect crunchy to soft ratio in your finished product).
- Heat a heavy bottomed skillet (such as cast iron or similar- but if you don’t have this don’t worry) at medium heat. Open sausage casing and add to pan, breaking it up into small pieces with the back of a wooden spoon. Once browned, drain sausage onto paper towel and let cool.
- Skim some of the fat off the pan and heat about a teaspoon to teaspoon and half of butter over medium-low heat. Once butter is starting to turn brown, add shallots, fennel and garlic and cook stirring frequently for at least 20 minutes until soft, translucent and fragrant.
- Let cool. (this step and the previous can be done a day ahead and kept in the fridge until ready to use).
- Butter a shallow baking dish with some of the butter. Whisk together the eggs and then add the chicken stock, mixing well. Add the sausage, the shallots, and a couple cracks of pepper.
- Add bread and toss evenly to coat. Pour into baking dish and dot the top with remaining butter and sprinkle with sage.
- Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, until top is golden brown.
Do you have any side dish go-to’s? Any family traditions you love to cook every year? Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving this weekend!