I was browsing online this weekend on a quest to find some exciting side dishes for Thanksgiving. I stumbled across a website that advertised 101 modern Thanksgiving sides. To my dismay, I found 101 of the same old thing. There must have been 20 versions of corn bread stuffing, 15 versions of squash casserole, and 30 mashed potato recipes, peppered by a few green bean casseroles and sweet potatoes with marshmallows and pecans. BORING! It literally put me to sleep.
Is this what we’ve come to for Turkey Day folks? We are not falling asleep from the tryptophan, let me tell you that.
So, I did what any salt of the earth food blogger would do. I set out to change the world. I made a DISASTER of my kitchen on Sunday, and I broke out of the boring and into the land of bold and flavorful Thanksgiving fare.
I’ve got a few delectable, anything but run-of-the-mill, turkey day side dishes for you. They are colorful, tasty, and SIMPLE. Best of all, they’ll have your guests talking. They’ll be working on securing their invitation to your table for next year before they’ve finished their pumpkin pie.
We’ll start out today with Green Cauliflower Puree.
These stunning beauties caught my eye in the produce section.
I literally could not resist these emerald heads of deliciousness and walked out with the two biggest ones I could find.
This side dish will take you no more than 25 minutes to make.
What gets better than that?
Well, you can make it ahead of time and reheat it when it’s dinner time.
All you do is bring some chicken broth to a boil, add the green cauliflower after it’s been chopped into florets. (Please discard all of the stems, you only want the tender tops in this dish).
You add enough water to cover the cauliflower and bring to a boil. Let it cook for about 15 minutes or until fork tender.
The most tricky part about this recipe is that you have to puree it in two batches unless you have an industrial sized food processor. If you do, I want to know about it so I can invite myself over to try it out.
Anyway, it’s simple, just add half of your butter, half the cream cheese, and half the cream, as well as half of your seasonings to the food processor before adding half of the cauliflower. Puree that batch and transfer it to a casserole dish or bowl and repeat.
Before removing each batch from the processor, taste it. Because you cooked the florets in chicken broth you won’t need as much salt, but you still want to make sure it’s not under seasoned without being too salty.
When you’ve got both batches in your serving dish, add a couple of tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, pepper, and some fresh chives.
This is so velvety, scrumptious, and delicious.
I think what I love most about it is the color though. It just feels like a festive holiday food.
I am sure this will elicit plenty of ooos and ahhs at your holiday gathering.
Oh, and don’t think you have to use this to replace the mashed potatoes. This most certainly is a vegetable, so please, feel free to have both!