If your like me, you are already putting together your menu for Thanksgiving dinner. If not, hopefully our last post and upcoming posts will inspire you to create an exceptional meal for your loved ones. In the past, we have shared with you traditional Thanksgiving recipes for a succulent savory turkey along with appetizers and side dishes. Additionally I have also recommended recipes which break from tradition using cornish hen or chicken instead of a large turkey for smaller sized gatherings.
This year, I'm breaking tradition once again. Frankly, I always prepare a green bean side dish, because of tradition; but I never touch it! For some reason, I am not a fan. Therefore, for a healthy side, this year I am preparing roasted squash, zucchini, and cauliflower seasoned with sun-dried tomatoes, basil, garlic, cheese, and olive oil. This side dish is hardy in flavor and lean in calories. Now that's genius! Save the calories for dessert!
Easy to prepare in advance, robust, healthy, and delicious. I'm certain this year, my roasted vegetables will not render any left-overs.
Each week this month, I will introduce new recipe ideas to help you get ready for Thanksgiving.
4 small zucchini- cut length wise in half
4 small yellow squash- cut length wise in half
1 cauliflower- chopped into bite size florets
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2-3 garlic cloves- minced
1 lemon- zest and juice
sea salt and pepper to taste
quality extra virgin olive oil
I dehydrate and make my own sun-dried tomatoes. In the States, sun-dried tomatoes are mostly sold in jars preserved in olive oil. Preferably if available, purchase dry sun-dried tomatoes and re-hydrate them in a small bowl of hot water for 20 minutes. Drain and discard liquid and finely chop in a small food processor or skillfully with a large sharp knife to create a chunky paste. However, if purchasing whole sun-dried tomatoes stored in olive oil, rinse tomatoes with hot water and discard oil to reduce high salt content. Place tomatoes in a food processor and chop into a chunky paste.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Using two large flat cookie sheet pans or shallow roasting pans, place vegetables and lightly season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and extra virgin olive oil.
In a medium bowl, combine crushed/chopped sun-dried tomatoes, basil, garlic, cheese, salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice, and 1/3 cup quality extra virgin olive oil.
Roast vegetables for 20 minutes; gently toss and turn vegetables to caramelize evenly on all sides and continue to roast for another 10-15 minutes.
If preparing vegetables in advance, at this point vegetables can be removed from the oven and stored in the fridge when cooled or outside the oven for 2-3 hours until ready to serve. Once you have removed the turkey from the oven to rest prior to serving, return vegetables to roasting sheet pans and spoon sun-dried tomato dressing evenly on vegetables. Place in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F and serve.
I normally rest my turkey outside the oven for 30 minutes when fully cooked. At this time, I begin roasting my vegetables for 30 minutes at 400 degrees F. Once caramelization is achieved after 30 minutes of roasting, I spoon sun-dried tomato paste over vegetables and return to oven to bake for an additional 5 minutes. Served hot or cold, each bite is robust with flavor.