Three Favorite Thanksgiving Trimmings!


Roast turkey with herb butter and shallot pan gravy served with Southern cornbread dressing–those are the two mainstays of our family’s Thanksgiving menu. If I changed either of them, no one would come to the table! (Several years ago I offered up a fine cider- basted turkey along with cornbread dressing studded with root vegetables, and faced a near rebellion from my clan.) On the other hand, our group of hearty eaters is open to trying new trimmings be they appetizers, side dishes, or desserts.

So, this year, I thought I’d share with readers some of my favorite dishes that have accompanied our steadfast bird and dressing over the years. Happy Thanksgiving from my table to yours!


Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Turnips with Apple Date Relish

For a colorful vegetable side, consider these root vegetables which are blanched, smashed, then, seasoned with butter. A sauté of diced apples and dates in brown sugar makes a beautiful garnish. I first made this dish for a magazine Thanksgiving story twenty years ago, but for the new version, I added extra butter to the vegetables and increased the scrumptious sautéed apple date relish. The recipe follows here on this page.


Roasted Grape, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Toasts

For appetizers, this seasonal starter is simple to assemble and can be prepared several hours in advance. It’s also easy to transport if you’re a guest contributing to a Thanksgiving dinner. Just click on the recipe title for the recipe.





Wendy’s Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Bars

For dessert try these bars, a delectable departure from traditional pumpkin pie. They are prepared with a buttery crust that is pressed into a baking pan, then baked until golden. A creamy, spiced pumpkin mixture is added next, followed by a sprinkle of pecan toffee streusel. Cut into squares and served with dollops of whipped cream, these bars could definitely rival a classic pumpkin pie.  Just click on the recipe title for the recipe


Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

 Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Turnips with Apple Date Relish

1 1/2 pd sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice (about 4 1/2 to 5 cups)
1 1/4 pd turnips (white turnips with purple hued tops), peeled and cut into 1-inch dice (about 4 generous cups)
3 tbsp unsalted butter, diced
Kosher salt

Apple Date Relish
2 tart medium cooking red apples, such as Honey Crisp or Pink Lady, not peeled
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 fresh sage sprigs for garnish, optional

1.In a 5- to 6- quart pot with a lid, combine sweet potatoes and turnips, and then add enough water to cover by 2 to 3 inches plus 2 teaspoons salt. Place pot over high heat, and when water comes to a boil, reduce heat to a good simmer and cover with lid. Simmer the vegetables until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain vegetables well in a large colander and return them to the pot.

2.Stir 3 tablespoons butter into the vegetables and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mash the vegetables using a potato masher, or for a smoother texture, use an immersion blender to puree them. Taste and season them with more salt as needed. Cover pot loosely with lid set slightly ajar. (Vegetables can be prepared 1 day ahead; cool, cover, and refrigerate.
Reheat in a micro-bowl following manufacturer's directions.)

3.For Apple Date Relish, quarter apples lengthwise, then core and remove stems. Cut quarters into 1-inch dice. In a medium, heavy skillet set over medium heat, heat butter until melted and hot. Add the apples, dates, and brown sugar. Cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved, and apples are just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice. (Apple Date Relish can be made 1 day ahead.  Reheat in a skillet over medium low heat.)

4.To serve, mound the hot vegetables in a serving bowl and garnish the top with several tablespoons of the relish, and if desired with a sprig or two of sage. Serve remaining relish in a small bowl with a spoon for garnishing each serving. Serves 6.

Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2019



2 thoughts on “Three Favorite Thanksgiving Trimmings!

  1. Hi Betty, I would love to make Wendy’s Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie bars but the link isn’t working. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

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