Talkin' Turkey


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roasted carrots and parsnips with herbsPhotographs by Ben Fink, Culinary Institute of America


Admittedly, the star of a traditional Thanksgiving feast is the turkey, but the side dishes — made from seasonal vegetables, grains, potatoes, and other starches — are more than just bit players: they add texture and color (not to mention calories) to the meal. While we all look forward to indulging in a favorite family recipe like candied yams or cranberry sauce, wouldn’t it be fun to add a little variety to your table? The following three recipes — taken from the Culinary Institute of America’s Gourmet Meals in Minutes (Lebhar-Friedman, $40) and Cooking at Home (John Wiley & Sons, $40) — will do just that.

Roasted Carrots & Parsnips with Herbs

Makes 8 servings

• 6 parsnips • 7 carrots • ¼ cup olive oil
• 1½ tsp salt, to taste • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, to taste • 1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped • 1 Tbsp sage, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F
  2. Peel parsnips and carrots and cut into chunky pieces roughly two inches long and ¾-inch thick. Pieces should be of uniform size and shape
  3. Toss parsnips and carrots with oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, and sage in large bowl
  4. Spread in large shallow baking pan. Roast vegetables in lower third of oven until tender, about 30-35 min.

Nutrition analysis (per four-ounce serving): 130 calories, 1g protein, 16g carbohydrate, 7g fat, 460mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol, 3g fiber

tarragon green beans

Tarragon Green Beans

Makes 8 servings

• 2 lb green beans, trimmed • 1 Tbsp butter
• 1 Tbsp shallots, minced • 1 Tbsp tarragon, roughly chopped • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Parboil beans in salted water until tender to bite, about 5 min. Drain
  2. Sauté shallots in butter until tender, add beans; sauté for 2-3 minutes, until warm
  3. Stir in chopped tarragon, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Nutrition analysis (per four-ounce serving): 50 calories, 2g protein, 8g carbohydrate, 1.5g fat, 150mg sodium, 5mg cholesterol, 4g fiber

herbed pilaf

Herbed Pilaf

Makes 8 servings

• 2 poblano chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
• ½ cup chopped fresh basil • ½ cup chopped fresh mint • ½ cup chopped fresh oregano • 4 tsp vegetable oil • 2 Tbsp minced shallot or yellow onion • 1½ cups long-grain white rice • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F
  2. In small bowl, combine chiles, basil, mint, and oregano with three cups water
  3. Heat oil in ovenproof saucepan over medium heat and sauté shallot until translucent, about 5-6 minutes
  4. Add rice and sauté until coated with oil and heated through, about one minute — some of the rice may jump or pop. Add herb mixture. Bring to a simmer, stirring rice once or twice to prevent it from clumping together or sticking to bottom of pan
  5. Add one teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Cover pan and place in oven. Cook until grains are tender to the bite, about 12-14 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for five minutes to steam. Uncover and, using a fork, separate grains and release the steam
  6. Taste pilaf and season with salt and pepper; serve at once

Nutrition analysis (per five-ounce serving): 180 calories, 4g protein, 34g carbohydrate, 3g fat, 150mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol, 2g fiber

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