I’m going to give you my latest favourite Thanksgiving side dish. I love this because it is quick, easy, and healthy. It also happens to be really delicious and let’s face it, if it’s not delicious, who cares about the rest?
I am a big fan of humble ingredients, turnips often topping the list and finding their way into my cooking in all sorts of ways. This dish came about one night when I was long on turnips and sweet potatoes and short on time. Slicing the vegetables thinly reduced the cooking time and using a food processor put the prep time for this dish at about 5 minutes all told. Once in the oven, I got the rest of dinner ready and by that time the gratin was ready. SO easy! Basically slice, toss, bake, and…batabing, you’re done!
This will generously feed 4-6 people as a side dish and the ingredients are humble, seasonal and simple:
- 1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 5 medium turnips
- 1 large onion
- 5 medium garlic cloves (or more if you’re a garlic junkie like me), skins still on
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1/2 tsp fines herbs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
(Psssst…to KICK IT UP A NOTCH…add some chopped, crispy BACON!)
You can also add or substitute:
- any winter squash such as butternut or acorn
Let’s get started!
- Preheat your oven to 425F.
- Thinly slice all the veggies into about 1/8″ – 1/16″ slices. This is easiest and quickest in a food processor with the standard slicer blade. For a low-tech approach a mandoline works just as well.
- Toss the whole lot right along with the garlic onto a half-sheet pan or large baking dish (line with foil for shamefully easy clean up).
- Drizzle with the olive oil and seasonings and toss with your hands until everything is evenly coated. Top with a few nuts of butter and pop in the oven.
- Check occasionally and toss with tongs to insure even roasting.
- When you see little brown tips appearing and the slices are fully cooked through it’s done, about 30 – 40 minutes depending on your oven.
- Give a taste, adjust salt and pepper if needed (if you’re doing this ahead, wrap and chill it now in the pan, reheating just before serving in a 400-450F oven until fully heated through).
- Once you’re ready to serve, toss with the fresh parsely (and add bacon if using) and transfer to a serving dish, drizzle with just a touch more olive oil before bringing it to the table. Delish!
Just nod, smile and raise a glass when guests insist you must have slaved away in the kitchen for this yummy dish…
FUN FACT – What are the differences between yams and sweet potatoes?
They are actually not at all related botanically.
Sweet Potatoes belong to the morning glory family and are softer and moister.
Yams, which are related to lilies and grasses, are starchier and drier with paler, firmer flesh, and as it turns out, are not commonly seen for sale in this country, being more common in South American and African cuisine.
What we commonly refer to as yams here in the states are actually various types of sweet potatoes mistakenly labelled as yams.
Voila! Now you can impress your friends and family at Thanksgiving with a little geeky science banter.
I hope you enjoy an abundant and Happy Thanksgiving!!