So we gathered at Sarah’s fabulous kitchen for an Early Bird Thanksgiving dinner to try out a few new recipes and to share our old family favorites.
I love making gnocchi on Thanksgiving day—it is a cooking project that is best done in the company of others, and even the smallest hands can help.
Need more veggies? Last month the Cookbook Club cooked up oodles of vegetarian dishes from Yotam Ottolenghi's book Plenty. For an appetizer, try the Stuffed Portobello with Melting Taleggio or the pretty Nutty Endive with Roquefort. Next to the turkey, serve the Chickpea, Butternut Squash, and Swiss Chard Sauté with Greek Yogurt, the Herb Stuffed Tomatoes, the Saffron Cauliflower, or the Sweet Potato Wedges with Lemongrass Créme Fraîche.
For a printable version of the recipe, click on the file below it.
Butternut Squash Gnocchi with
Browned Butter Sage Sauce
Please weigh the squash and the potato, so that you are sure to have just the right combination of starch for the dough.
When making this gnocchi for Thanksgiving dinner, I like to make the dough the night before, and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.
Serves 6-8 as a side dish
1 1-lb. butternut squash, or half of a 2 lb. squash
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 12-14 ounce russet potato, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 ¾ cups flour
½ cup (1 stick) butter
¼ pound prosciutto, sliced ¼ inch thick (not paper thin), finely diced
1 handful of fresh sage leaves
- First, prepare the squash. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and discard the seeds. Place the squash halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet and brush with oil. Roast until the squash is very tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour or more. Scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor until very smooth. Transfer the squash to a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the puree thickens, about 5 minutes. Measure 1cup (packed) squash and let cool in the refrigerator. (Reserve extra squash for another use, such as folding into polenta.)
- Meanwhile, cook the potato in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. While still warm, pass through a potato ricer into a medium bowl. Cool completely. Measure 2 cups (loosely packed) riced potato for the gnocchi dough.
- Mix squash, potato, ½ cup Parmesan, egg, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Gradually add 1¾ cups flour, kneading gently into mixture in bowl until dough holds together and is almost smooth. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead gently but briefly just until smooth. (Dough can rest in the refrigerator overnight; cover tightly with plastic wrap.) Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Keep dough covered while working to prevent it from drying out.
- Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Sprinkle parchment lightly with flour. Working with 1 dough piece at a time, roll dough on floured surface into a 1-inch thick rope. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Roll the gnocchi along the back of fork tines dipped in flour, or the side of a whisk, or a gnocchi board, making ridges on one side. Transfer gnocchi to baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. (To cook later, cover the gnocchi with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 6 hours.)
- To cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add a generous tablespoon of salt. Cook the gnocchi, adding them in batches of 20 or so, for about 15 minutes. When the gnocchi are done, they will float to the top of the water and stay there for several minutes. If you are not sure, remove one and bite into it. It should be cooked through, and not doughy in the center.
- Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon, and reserved in your serving platter. Once you have finished cooking all the gnocchi, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours, or finish the dish right away.
- In a large skillet using high heat, add the olive oil until sizzling. Add the diced prosciutto and sauté until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels.
- Using the same skillet, and adding more olive oil if needed, add the cleaned and dried sage leaves to the hot oil and fry until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside with the prosciutto.
- Heat the same pan over medium heat, and add the stick of butter. It will turn golden, then froth and brown bits will form on the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat down to low and add the gnocchi to the butter. Gently toss, reheating the gnocchi if needed, and scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan into the sauce.
- Transfer the gnocchi to a warm serving platter. Sprinkle with prosciutto bits and fried sage leaves. Top with a shower of finely grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately, or cover and keep warm.
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Creamed Red and White Pearl
Onions with Bacon
Yield: 6-8 as a side dish
- 2 10-ounce bags red pearl onions
- 1 10-ounce bag white pearl onions
- 2 1/2 ounces (2 strips) thick-cut bacon, diced ( 1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 pints heavy cream
- 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- If red and white onions are about the same size, bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add onions and blanch until skins loosen slightly, about 5 minutes. Drain. (If white onions are considerably larger, blanch onions separately, increasing time on white onions by a couple of minutes.) Peel onions and set aside. (Onions can be blanched and peeled ahead of time. Place in 2-quart zipper-lock bag and refrigerate until ready to use.)
- Sauté bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate and set aside. Pour off bacon fat. Melt butter in Dutch oven over low heat until foaming, add shallots and garlic and cook until translucent but not browned, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Add heavy cream and simmer until cream is thick and golden and has reduced by half, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir onions into cream to heat through.
- Heat broiler. Turn onions and cream into a shallow 1 1/2-quart casserole dish. Top with bacon, bread crumbs and parsley. Place under broiler and cook until crumbs are browned and dish is bubbling, about 10 minutes.
Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Seeds
The trick to removing seeds from pomegranates without making your kitchen look like a crime scene? Place a large bowl of cold water in the sink. Slice the pomegranate in half, and submerge the fruit into the water. Use a fork to separate the seeds from the white pith, which will float to the top.
- Brussels sprouts, as many as you want
- 4 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- Seeds from 1-2 pomegranates
- Juice of 1-2 lemons
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and blanch the Brussels sprouts for 2-3 minutes. Drain, and place into an ice water bath.
- Core the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half.
- Heat the vegetable oil over high heat in a large pot. Test the oil by throwing a sprout leaf into the pot; if it sizzles vigorously, it is ready.
- Carefully drop the halved Brussels sprouts into the oil, and fry until the outer leaves are crispy and brown. (If you are making a large amount, do this in batches.)
- Remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels.
- While warm, toss the fried Brussels sprouts with lemon juice, pomegranate seeds, and kosher salt. Serve warm.
Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini
Serves 4-5, more if you cut them in half
- 4-5 medium zucchini
- ½ cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup chopped Tamari almonds
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Heat oven to 400º F. In a large saucepan, combine the quinoa and one cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, 12-15 minut
- Meanwhile, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Arrange in a baking dish, cut side up.
- Fluff the quinoa and fold in the beans, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, ½ cup of the Parmesan, and 3 tablespoons of the oil.
- Spoon the mixture into the zucchini. Top with the remaining tablespoon of oil and ¼ cup of the Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake until the zucchini is tender 25-30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until golden, 8-10 minutes.