When you think of Thanksgiving dinner, what is the first dish you thing of? The turkey probably. Then the stuffing or the pie next, right? But who thinks of the veggies first? Not me, even. However, as every girl knows, it’s the accessories that make the outfit, so perhaps it could also be true that it’s the sides that make the meal.

If nothing else, they round out an already good meal or help out when something falls a little flat.

All of recipes listed below are easy, done in the oven or on the stovetop in not much time and full of flavor. Who knows, they might even become one of your favorites!

The last two recipes are excerpted from my latest book “Sugar and Salt: A Year at Home and at Sea.” For information, go to my blog, www.athomeatsea.com.


1-1/2 pounds parsnips peeled, cored and fibrous centers removed; about 3 pounds before the prep work


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil; plus a little more for the kale

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a little more for the kale

Several grinds of fresh black pepper

4 cups lightly packed kale leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the parsnips into 2-inch lengths as you would carrot sticks. On a roasting pan, toss with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until parsnips begin to brown on the edges and are cooked all the way through.

Meanwhile, toss the kale with a little more olive oil, salt and pepper. When the parsnips are cooked, place the kale on top of the parsnips and return the pan to the oven. Roast for another 5 minutes or until the kale begins to crisp slightly.


Serves 6 to 8


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

10 ounces whole cremini mushrooms

10 ounces whole button mushrooms

Large pinch kosher salt


Several grinds fresh black pepper

1/2 tablespoon minced garlic, about 2 small cloves

1/4 cup beer, such as an ale or lager

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and then add the mushrooms, salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the beer and transfer to the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and bring back to the stovetop over high heat. Reduce the liquid in the pan to 2 tablespoons or less.

Serves 4 to 6



2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large red onion, core removed and cut into 1/2-inch slices

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Several grinds of fresh black pepper

8 ounces broccoli cut into large florets; about 1 large head

3 tablespoons lemon juice; about 1/2 a lemon


Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and then the onions. Saute the onions until they become soft and begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with broccoli, sprinkle again with salt and pepper and cover for 5 minutes. Remove lid and squeeze the lemon on top of the broccoli. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

Spicy Green Beans and Orange Bell Peppers

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1-1/2 teaspoon minced jalapeno or other spicy pepper

1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic; about 1 large clove


1/2 orange bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced 1/4-inch thick; about 1 cup

2 pounds green beans, ends removed

2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

1 tablespoon Sriracha or other hot sauce

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, jalapeno pepper and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the orange pepper and the green beans and saute for 5 to 7 minutes or until the green beans are tender but still bright green. Season with tamari and Sriracha and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

Anne Mahle of Rockland is the author of “At Home, At Sea.” She can be reached at:



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