Italy is a great place to celebrate the holidays, but you can enjoy their traditions…
Now that Thanksgiving is near, it’s time to think about the much-anticipated meal. And, when our favorite holiday only comes around once each year, it definitely requires some thought. Sure, a turkey can be expected—but what about the sides? When you think about it, the sides are the best part, right?
And, as there are so many delicious fall ingredients to choose from, it’s easy to whip up a few tasty creations in the kitchen and take full advantage of all the sweet and savory flavors this wonderful season has to offer. (And, here are some fall recipe ideas you’ll want to try now.)
So, beyond friends and family, here are some delicious Thanksgiving sides you’ll surely be grateful for.
Candied Sweet Potato Gratin
No Thanksgiving meal is complete with a sweet potato dish. And, while sweet potatoes taste great when savory, it’s smart to bring out their sweetness during the Thanksgiving meal, to pair well with heavier meats and sauces.
A great option? Make a baked sweet potato gratin with candied pecans and yuzu marshmallow. The yuzu offers a bit of citrus and tartness, while the candied pecans bring a nutty texture to complement the creaminess of the sweet potato gratin base. When all these different elements come together, it’s like a flavor bomb for your taste buds.
And, a gratin is still a bit dense, so it can easily be a side dish, if in a smaller portion, but also a vegetarian entrée, thanks to its filling and hearty nature. Plus, if sweet potatoes just don’t do it for you, you can always swap in pumpkin, instead. (Here, great ways to cook with pumpkin.)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
There’s nothing quite like crispy Brussels sprouts during a Thanksgiving meal. (Or any meal, for that matter.) While you may have hated this green veggie as a child, probably thanks to its name and rough appearance, Brussels sprouts tend to become an adult favorite with time. And, they are really good for you, as they’re packed with fiber.
And, while simply roasted Brussels sprouts are never a bad idea, it’s easy to make them a bit classier and robust, as they’re super versatile when it comes to flavor. Try this: roast the Brussels sprouts with botarga, which is fish roe typically from grey mullet or Bluefin tuna. It’ll bring a nice salty edge to the dish.
Red Wine Braised Apples
This one’s a home recipe from the Albert’s Executive Chef, Brandon Brumback, so you know it’s real good. Apples are fresh for the picking during fall, and there are so many types to choose from—between granny smith, pink lady, honeycrisp, gala, and fuji, you really can’t go wrong.
Yet, when it comes to braising apples in red wine for a side dish or lighter dessert, you’ll want to go with fuji, honeycrisp, or braeburn, as these types of apples will provide a crisp bite with a bit of acidity, which nicely complements the red wine flavor.
And, as these stewed apples are naturally sweet, you don’t need to add much more to the mix. Instead, a little sugar or drizzle of honey will be just enough. (So, it’s also a healthier dessert option for when you’re trying to wean yourself off that pecan pie.)
Chestnut Bread Pudding with Pickled Cranberries
When you think of bread pudding, you’re probably assuming dessert. And, while this bread pudding can be a less sweet dessert option, it works well as a side dish. Thanks to the chestnuts and pickled cranberries, there’s a depth in flavor and a bit of acidity for a savory feel.
This will also go well with many types of meat, like turkey, chicken thighs, or steak, as there’s richness in texture. And, a tip? Wash it all down with a nice red wine, like Gamay, which is a lighter bodied red wine that’s similar in taste to a burgundy and is traditional for the Thanksgiving season. Another option? You can pair with malort or spiced damaros, or a nice cognac for dessert.
Interested in booking your Thanksgiving meal at the Albert? You can easily book a reservation.