one of our favorite fall traditions has become our annual celebratory Thanksgiving cooking class hosted by LA designer, Jenni Kayne. (See them all and get the recipes here!)

Last year, it was sweet potatoes and a stunning table with Daphne Oz. This year, we teamed up with long-time TCM contributor and cookbook author, Pamela Salzman to crank out a healthy, festive holiday feast.

This year’s menu consists of plenty of traditional dishes amped up with fresh, local, inventive flavors, from shaved Brussels sprout salad to hazelnut fig stuffing, corn pudding to cider-roasted veggies.

Pamela is queen of cooking for a large crowd. Each recipe is designed to tap in to those holiday memories while still adding a fun, healthy twist your fam and friends will appreciate.

To set the scene, Jenni set this year’s table with a subdued fall palette studded with bright orange persimmons. We’re loving the elaborate looking, but easy to execute centerpiece of nuts in shell, fall fruits and olive branches. Take a close look and let it inspire your holiday table this year.

Other elements we loved include the Parachute linens, plates from Eric Bonnin Ceramics, and Nickey Kehoe candlesticks and glassware.

We’re sharing two favorite recipes from our Thanksgiving cooking class below, with another keeper coming your way tomorrow!

Serves 8-10


1 ½ lb rustic bread, like olive sourdough or a rosemary ciabatta, hard crust removed, or your favorite GF bread
1 cup dried figs, quartered
1/3 cup port (optional, or use warm water)
6 Tbsp olive oil, plus additional for greasing dish
2 large onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ½ tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 ½ tsp sea salt (if stock is unsalted, otherwise season to taste)
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup toasted and skinned hazelnuts (buy them this way or roast in 350 oven until skins blister; rub nuts in kitchen towel to remove skins), chopped
3-3 ½ cups chicken, turkey or vegetable stock (depending on how dry/wet you like it)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter or vegan butter, cut into small dice (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place bread in a food processor and process into large crumbs or cut into ½-inch dice. (I like to do a combination.) You should have about 12 cups. Spread bread over 2 large shallow baking pans and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until completely dry, about 25 minutes. Transfer bread to a large bowl.

Place dried figs in a medium bowl.

Place port in a small saucepan and heat until warmed through, add the warm port to the figs and allow to soak for 15 minutes. Drain and reserve port.

Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees and grease a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with olive oil.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add onion and celery, and sauté, stirring occasionally until onions are tender and translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add reserved port and deglaze pan by scraping the bottom with a wooden utensil. Cook until port has evaporated.

Stir in thyme, sage, salt and pepper.

Add vegetable mixture to bread cubes, along with the soaked figs and hazelnuts, tossing to combine. Pour stock over the bread mixture, tossing to coat evenly.

Spread stuffing in a baking dish, dot with remaining butter, if using, and cover tightly with foil. Bake in upper third of oven until heated through, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake stuffing until top is browned, 10 – 15 minutes more. Stuffing can also be baked in a well-greased 12-cup muffin tin.


Bread crumbs can be prepared several days in advance.

Vegetables can be chopped the day before.

Entire casserole can be prepared up to the point of baking the day before and refrigerated or frozen, and then thawed and baked according to the directions.

You can also add bulk sausage to this stuffing. Before sautéing onions and celery, brown the sausage in the skillet and remove. Add vegetables and proceed with recipe, adding sausage to bread cubes when mixing with vegetable mixture.

Serves 6-8


1 Tablespoon kosher salt

1 pound Brussels spouts, washed, cored and leaves separated*

1 head red-leaf butter lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces, smaller        leaves left whole (about 8 cups)

1 Fuyu persimmon (the hard, crunchy kind), halved and thinly sliced

½ cup pomegranate seeds

1/3 roasted, salted pistachios

1 avocado, cubed (or 3 ounces goat cheese or sliced Manchego)

For the dressing:

1 Tablespoon finely chopped shallot

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons pure grade A maple syrup

1 teaspoon whole-grain or Dijon mustard

6 tablespoons unrefined, cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon sea salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste


Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the kosher salt. Stir in the Brussels sprout leaves and leave in the water just until they are a vibrant green and barely tender (less than 2 minutes). Drain and immediately submerge in the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and dry well. You can do this in a salad spinner.

  • Place the Brussels sprout leaves and the other salad ingredients, except the avocado, in a large bowl.
  • To make the dressing: combine all of the dressing ingredients in a glass jar and shake to emulsify.
  • Pour the dressing on the salad and toss to coat. Arrange the avocado on top.

*If this is too much work, just thinly slice the Brussels sprouts and add to the salad raw.  Or do half blanched leaves and half raw, shredded sprouts.

Steal some of our fave recipes from a previous Thanksgiving at Jenni’s here!


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