Gourmet Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Wet, tired, and irritated, shoulders hunched under the weight of sagging re-usable bags, we wove in and out of Thanksgiving eve crowds.  Soggy shopping list in hand, we carefully crossed off each attained item–pounds of brussel sprouts, a bag of whole cranberries, apples, carrots, parsnips, fresh rosemary.  Thoughts of New York City do not create visions of farm fresh produce in the minds of my family.  Perhaps the experience of Union Square greenmarket has changed that.  While not impressed by the crowds and fast passed environment, nor by the fact that I made them take the subway, I think that my family was at least slightly intrigued by the variety of fresh in-season produce.

This Thanksgiving was void of turkey or turkey-like imitations.  Yes, it has been years since I have eaten turkey, but that has not stopped my mom from spending hours basting.  It has not stopped my dad from expertly carving.  And it never stops my sister from claiming the meaty drumstick.  This year was an exception.

The vegetarian host cooked a vegetarian meal consisting entirely of… vegetables (well, some fruit of course).  All local and organic produce fresh from the market.

Jellied Cranberry Sauce with Fuji Apple (from Food & Wine)

Cranberries before cooking

Apples waiting to be chopped up.

The finished result.

Rosemary Potato Focaccia Rolls (Food & Wine)

Roasted potatoes cooked in olive oil, salt, and rosemary. Some of these slices did not make it on to the rolls.

The rolls.

Braised Kale with Onions, Kalamata Olives, and Lemon (Food & Wine)

Blurry, but you get the idea.

Maple-Ginger Roasted Vegetables (Food & Wine)

Brussel sprouts.

The veggies may look a little charred, but I assure you, they were just slightly crispy on the outside and soft in the middle–Sweet, savory, and juicy.  The browning is mostly from the sugar in the maple syrup.

Five Spice Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Walnut Toffee (Food & Wine)

Best sweet potatoes of my life.  No marshmallows here.

Squash filled with Lemon Barley Stuffing with Shiitakes (actually Portabellas… there were no shiitakes at the market), Hazelnuts, and Chive Butter (Food & Wine)

The main dish

A little bit of everything

Did I prepare anything ahead of time?  Of course not, that’s just not my style.  With WNYC on in the background and family to help out and keep me company, I cooked all day.  Of course we took a few breaks for this–

A Thanksgiving gift from my Auntie

Sauvignon Blanc was the perfect wine for cooking breaks.  Dry, refreshing, and crisp it reduced some of the heat I was feeling from the constantly working oven and burners.

I tried the Porcupine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon with my dinner.  I liked this wine, but I don’t think that I paired it well with my dinner choices, and true to its name, it ended up tasting a bit prickly.  Of course, we did not get through six bottles of wine in one night, so James and I have some tasting to do!

For dessert we had key lime pie, chocolate coffee cake, and a scoop of pumpkin chip ice cream.  A gourmet vegetarian meal not once wondering, “where’s the meat?”.



4 responses to “Gourmet Vegetarian Thanksgiving

  1. pictures taken by: Gaelen. Thanks for the mention :P

  2. Wish I’d been there! Thanks for the wine shots.

  3. What an amazing vegetarian feast! Gorgeous pics (I see thanks to Gaelen!). :) We spent Thanksgiving at Tracy’s and wondered how the turkey-less feast was going! It looks spectacular!

  4. did you have a sous-chef?I see no mention of her…

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