One of the best things about Thanksgiving is all the wonderful plant-based dishes associated with this holiday: Mashed potatoes, roasted root vegetables, squash soups, pumpkin pies, sweet potato casseroles, sauteed greens, the list goes on and on.
The turkey may hog the spotlight, but this most American of holidays is truly a celebration of vegetarian foods. Of course, many vegetable dishes get burdened with chicken stock, milk, cream, butter or cheese. But it’s just as easy to make these dishes using vegetable stock, unflavored nut milk or olive oil. Should you be expecting vegetarians or vegans at your table, such substitutions will surely generate much gratitude.
To this bountiful cornucopia of vegetables, I’ll add my recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts with a tamari maple glaze. I took my inspiration from the popular Brussels sprouts appetizer on the menu at the Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro in Portland. While my recipe differs from the way the restaurant’s chefs prepare their sprouts (you can find that full recipe in the “Portland, Maine Chef’s Table” cookbook), the taste is very similar.
These Brussels sprouts make an excellent appetizer or can be passed around the table with the other sides. However you decide to serve them, know that they’re at their peak when piping hot. But like everything on the Thanksgiving table, they’re best enjoyed with a grateful heart in the company of family and friends.
AVERY’S ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH A TAMARI MAPLE GLAZE
1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the Brussels sprouts and then remove any damaged outer leaves. Trim off the ends and slice each sprout in half. Place in a bowl and toss with the olive oil and black pepper. Turn them out onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 15 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the sprouts. (Small sprouts will become tender in 15 minutes while larger ones can take up to 40 minutes.) Shake the pan every 10 minutes or so during cooking, to encourage the sprouts to brown on both sides. They are done when they’re tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork.
While the sprouts are roasting, mix the glaze ingredients. As soon as the sprouts come out of the oven, place them in a bowl and add the glaze. Toss to coat. Serve immediately. Serves 4 as an appetizer and 2 as a side dish.
IT’S BECOME a Thanksgiving tradition. Each year, I bring pumpkin seed sage croquettes to my family’s dinner, and each year they quickly disappear, leaving few if any for lunch the following day.
Crunchy on the outside with a moist but slightly chewy center, these croquettes echo and complement the classic fall flavors around the Thanksgiving table. Both vegan and gluten-free (if you use tamari rather than soy sauce), the croquettes are a tasty option for pretty much everyone on your guest list.
I created this dish so it would pair well with mushroom gravy and homemade cranberry sauce. I’ve shared this recipe before in this column, and you can find recipes for the croquettes, my vegan mushroom gravy and my cranberry sauce at http://bit.ly/TXPKnq.
IF YOU WANT a vegan meal this Thanksgiving but would rather not cook, head to the Inn at Brunswick Station. Chef Kevin Cunningham is offering a full vegan dinner (in addition to the traditional turkey-based meal) featuring Tofurkey, vegan stuffing, roasted carrots, roasted fingerling potatoes and a choice of fresh fruit or strawberry balsamic sorbetto for dessert. The plated dinner is served from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and costs $20. Make reservations by calling 837-6565.
Avery Yale Kamila is a freelance writer who lives in Portland, where she stocks up for Thanksgiving at the Portland Farmers Market. She can be reached at: