Last year for Thanksgiving we joined together with designer Jenni Kayne to have a little fun and learn a few new vegan recipes for the Thanksgiving holiday. This year, we’re going veggie and following along with Barrett Prendergast of Valleybrink Road to learn a few fantastic vegetarian recipes to add to our holiday line-up.

how to roast vegetables

Squash and green beans are Thanksgiving staples to be sure, but these freshened up versions from Barrett are lighter, cleaner and still absolutely delicious for any holiday table. A tossed green salad includes seasonal beauties like persimmon and pomegranate and this cauliflower puree will have the whole table drooling for seconds. Get the recipes below (we’ll be sharing the butternut squash tomorrow) and take note of a few of these tips from our effortless hostess, Jenni, and our teacher for the afternoon, Barrett…

Barrett on a perfectly dressed salad: Save the salad tongs for the table. Barrett prefers to hand toss salads to ensure an even coat of dressing. Hand-tossing means no leftover dressing at the bottom of the bowl and evenly dressed greens with every bite.

healthy thanksgiving side dishes

Jenni on the tabletop: In keeping with the natural menu, we set the table with neutral linens from Matteo, French grey plates from Heath Ceramics and bowls by Iriving Place (sold at the new Jenni Kayne Montecito). The mismatched flatware and smoke-colored glasses are all vintage. For a touch of the unexpected, feathers from Mother Plucker are tied with twine at each setting.

Barrett on nibbles for waiting guests: Barrett prepped a gorgeous cheese plate for everyone as they watched her cook. The key to a perfect plate is good contrast; salty and sweet, pungent and mild. She included persimmons, pomegranate seeds and Marcona almonds which are doing double duty in the other recipes, as well as, our favorite, Raincoast Crisp Cranberry & Hazelnut Crackers.

Jenni on the flowers: For nearly any occasion, Kristen Caissie of Moon Canyon Design can be relied upon for flowers that both stun and put everyone at ease. For this luncheon, Kristen crafted harvest-themed arrangements of wild garden roses, chrysanthemums, viburnum, foliage, sage, spider grass, and cat tails in stone vases to line the entire table.


Serves 4


8 ounces of green or wax beans, trimmed 1⁄4 cup marcona almonds, coarsely chopped 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
1 Tablespoon Italian parsley, thinly sliced 1 lemon
Sea Salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then salt it. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook until bright green but still firm, about 2 minutes. Remove the beans from the water and place directly into the ice bath. When cool, remove from the bath and pat dry with paper towels.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the minced shallots and cook until shallots are tender and just start to brown. Remove from the heat and add the marcona almonds. Set aside.

Coat a large skillet with olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the beans and season with sea salt. Cook, tossing frequently, until charred in some spots, about 5 minutes.

Remove beans from the pan and place on a serving platter. Top with almond mixture, parsley, and grated lemon zest. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and serve immediately.

Serves 4


For the salad:
1⁄2 pound wild or baby arugula
1-2 fuyu persimmons
1⁄2 pomegranate, seeds removed
Pecorino romano
Sherry vinaigrette (see recipe below)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:
1/8 cup sherry vinegar
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1⁄2-1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper


For the salad:
Place the arugula in a large bowl. Slice the persimmon in half and then into small wedges. Add persimmon and pomegranate to the arugula. With a vegetable peeler, shave a generous amount of pecorino romano into the salad along with several grinds of black pepper. Toss with enough sherry vinaigrette just to coat. Taste and season with more vinaigrette and sea salt as necessary.

For the dressing:
Place the ingredients in a mason jar and shake to combine.

Serves 4


1 head cauliflower, 2 to 2 1⁄2 pounds, cored, and cut into small florets
3 Tablespoons organic unsalted butter
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Fresh thyme leaves
Maldon salt


Fill a steamer pot with 2 inches of water, add the steamer insert, and bring to a boil. Place the cauliflower florets in the steamer insert. Cover and steam for 15 minutes, until cauliflower can be easily pierced with a knife.

Dump the cauliflower into a food processor. Measure out 1⁄4 cup of the steaming liquid, and pour into the food processor; puree until smooth. Add more if necessary until the cauliflower reaches your desired consistency. You want a smooth puree. Add the butter, salt, and pepper. Blend again. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh thyme, maldon salt, and black pepper. Serve hot. (You can reheat over low heat in the same pan if you’re not eating immediately).

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    Mlenobeta | 02.09.2017 | Reply

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