The traditional and highly anticipated Thanksgiving meal generally revolves around a trifecta of starch: stuffing (or dressing), mashed potatoes, candied yams (or sweet potatoes or squash). Then add the gut-busting creamed onions, the out-of-season green beans, and the Brussels sprouts that half your party doesn’t even like.
One such feast is convenient if you are cooking for a small army, only have one turkey, and pride yourself on perpetuating America’s obesity epidemic. If you are a party of 4-6 people, however, it is redundantly carby, requires an excessive amount of work, and yields more left over than consumed.
Small parties for Thanksgiving offer an advantage: you can focus on a few dishes elegantly prepared rather than laboring over troughs of sides that sit like lead in the stomach and leave little enthusiasm for the pies you slaved over for dessert.
To accompany our turkey, stuffing, and condiments this year, we are swapping out mashed potatoes, yams, and other controversial vegetables, and opting instead for Thomas Keller’s perfect glazed root-vegetables from the Bouchon cookbook (featured photo above taken from Bouchon). The process of glazing summons the natural sweetness of root vegetables. Carrots, turnips, parsnips, and rutabaga make for an excellent starch substitute. Including leaks, scallions, and pearl onions meets your quota for greens.
So if you’re cooking for a more intimate gathering this year, we invite you to trim the menu and focus on the good stuff. And if you’re cooking for a larger party, perhaps this is the year to just trim the guest list and focus on the good guests.