Our Annual Thanksgiving Recipe Exchange!

For the last few years, Ace O’ Spades’ Gabriel Malor and I have made a point of exchanging recipes just before Thanksgiving — it’s a fun little way of finding something new to bring to the table. This year, Gabriel is offering a quick-and-easy recipe for Spiced Nuts, which he declares is something that can be put together “while watching kids!”

And my contribution this year: Roasted Parsnips and Apples:

To serve 4:
1 1/2 pounds parsnips (about 5 med-sized), peeled
1 pound Gala (or comparable) apples, cored and peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, not too light
1 tablespoon fresh sage, coarsely chopped (or dill, if preferred)

Move oven rack to upper part of oven and preheat to 475°F.

Cut parsnips and apples into quarters (lengthwise) and then into 2-inch pieces. Toss parsnips and apples with salt, pepper, olive oil and sage. Spread in one layer in a large shallow baking pan. Roast, turning occasionally, until parsnips and apples are tender and browned about 20 to 25 minutes.

What’s nice about this recipe is it can be prepared beforehand and very quickly reheated in the microwave, or you can serve it as a salad, at room temperature! I usually make this to serve with pork, but it goes well on the Thanksgiving table, too!

They’d go well with a Spiced Nuts appetizer, too!

How about it? You have a new (or old and beloved) recipe you want to share?

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • fiestamom

    Gruyere, butter, cream, potatoes, need I say more? This recipe is good if you’re taking a dish to someone else’s home. It’s a bit labor intensive (with the slicing of the potatoes), so if you have your hands full with the traditional Turkey day recipes you might not have time. But this is guaranteed to have no leftovers. From the Bon Appetit 2008 thanksgiving issue. so so good.
    Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Gratin with fresh herbs
    * 1 1/2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes
    * 1 1/2 pounds medium red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams)
    * 2 cups heavy whipping cream
    * 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
    * 2 garlic cloves, minced
    * 1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
    * 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
    * 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
    * 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
    * 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    * 1 1/4 cups (packed) coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 5 ounces)
    Fill large bowl with cold water. Working with 1 Yukon Gold potato at a time, peel, then cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds and place in bowl with water. Repeat with sweet potatoes. Combine cream, butter, and garlic in medium saucepan; bring to simmer. Remove from heat. Mix all herbs in small bowl. Mix sea salt and black pepper in another small bowl.
    Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Drain potatoes, then pat dry with kitchen towels. Transfer half of potatoes to prepared baking dish. Use hands to distribute and spread evenly. Sprinkle with half of salt-pepper mixture, then half of herb mixture. Sprinkle with half of cheese. Repeat with remaining potatoes, salt-pepper mixture, herb mixture, and cheese. Pour cream mixture over gratin, pressing lightly to submerge potato mixture as much as possible. DO AHEAD Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. Remove plastic wrap before baking.
    Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover gratin tightly with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake until top of gratin is golden and most of liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes; serve.

  • dry valleys

    If you like apples with savoury foods, there’s always this one.


    I’ve never eaten that dish personally but it came to mind because I read it in a book, “The Flavour Thesaurus”, about which combinations of foods work well. I’d recommend it for the curious cook. I was never much good at following recipes so I’ve taken someone else’s concept and messed around with it in making soups (especially good in autumn given the availability of vegetables, of course) and it’s helped me choose the right spices to go with the ingredients.

    I do like roasted parsnips, I’d never really entertained the concept of apples in that dish but I might consider it. Whereas I certainly won’t be making fiestamom’s recipe. :) Though I might add that when using potatoes myself I almost never peel them. It seems to me an unnecessary waste of nutrition, time and effort. Some schools of thought would say the texture is wrong but they do mash, for example, if well boiled enough, and a scrubbing will get rid of any dirt and what have you. Good quality ingredients tend not to need a big song and dance made over accompaniments.

  • LAOliver

    My Nana’s Mincemeat Cookies
    (Even if you don’t like mincemeat, you’ll love these cookies. They come out a bit like a raisin cookie, and they never last long.)
    1 c shortening
    1-1/2 c sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    3 large eggs
    3-1/4 c flour
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp nutmeg
    1/2 tsp allspice
    1 c. chopped pecans (or any other nut you like)
    2 c. mincemeat (I get mine from the butcher but you can use the stuff in a jar in a pinch)

    Cream shortening and sugar; beat in vanilla and eggs until fluffy. In another bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda, and spice. Add dry ingredients to the shortening mixture and mix well (using Nana’s wooden spoon, of course).

    Stir in mincemeat and nuts until blended. Drop by spoonful onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes, until light brown.

  • Joe

    Here is a simple one. Take a celeriac (celery root) and peal and cube it. It does not have to be perfect on the peeling. Cut up parsnips. Boil them till tender (about 30-40 minutes). In a separate pot boil yukon gold potatoes (either peeled or not, however you prefer them).

    Put the celeraic and parsnips through a food processor, then add to the potatoes and mash. Add butter, sour cream, milk (however you normally make mashed potatoes). Do not put the potatoes through the food processor or they will get gummy.

    The celery root smells wonderful and the potatoes will taste great. Parsnips also add a great flavor to the mash.

  • Joe

    I also sometimes boil the potatoes and veggies in chicken broth. But salted water or veggie broth works fine too.

  • Patricia

    I never liked cranberry relish until I received this recipe. It is a “must” ingredient for my husband’s post Thanksgiving “turkey stacks” where he layers cranberry relish, mashed potatoes and turkey into a sandwich, ladles gravy over the whole shebang and carbs out.

    Cranberry Sauce from D.McInerney
    12 oz. fresh cranberries
    1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup (the real stuff)
    grated rind and juice of one orange
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
    Wash and drain cranberries. Remove any soft or discolored berries and any leaves or stems. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring, until the cranberries have popped and the sauce is thick (yes, it really will thicken up). Serve hot or cold.

  • Roz Smith

    One year when my oven was acting up I cooked the 14 lb turkey I’d bought on my outdoor grill “beer can” style. I used one of those gigantic 25 oz. cans of Fosters. It cooked a bit faster than I expected, the meat was incredibly juicy and the skin was crispy brown all around the bird. Since I have a large deck and a small kitchen I now use this method most of the time I cook a whole turkey. The bird always turns out great and it frees up the oven for all the side dishes.

  • Joe

    Roz, I am going to do a turkey on the Weber kettle this year. Charcoal and apple wood. But I doubt it has enough clearance to allow me to stick the turkey upright (I am getting a 15 lbs bird). I intended a roasting pan with the turkey breast down to start (with maybe a 1/2 inch of beer in the pan, and then flip if about half way so it browns.

  • Oregon Catholic

    In Ireland, almost every dinner we ate in pubs came with sides of mashed parsnips and mashed carrots. True peasant fare and so delicious.

    I don’t have a recipe but just wanted to say I used a counter top roaster for the first time this year and loved how it cooked the turkey (and very fast too) plus I had the oven free for all the other things. I highly recommend one and there seems to be a lot of good sales on them this year.

  • Oregon Catholic

    Forgot to say I had Thanksgiving early this year due to uncooperative family work schedules.

  • FoolishMortal

    This is not a Thanksgiving recipe, but a recipe you can use all year long. I got this from my mother in the early 1970s.
    Cake Mix Cookies
    1 regular cake mix (any flavor)
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    2 eggs
    Add 1/2 cup morsels, chopped nuts, or raisins, or anything else you like, and bake for 10 minutes in 350 degree oven. Some of the combinations I’ve made are: Adding a box of lemon pudding mix and coconut, and adding a box of Cheesecake flavored pudding mix and adding well-drained and patted dry maraschino cherries. I’ve also made white chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookies, and using a chocolate cake mix, added peanut butter chips. The possibilities are endless! ~:o]

  • Theca

    I had to look up parsnips. Apparently I had no idea what they were. I’ll have to try them out.

  • pianogirl88

    The original recipe came from (IIRC) Gourmet Magazine…it’s a good one!

    Note: This makes enough to fill a 9″ square pan…I always double the recipe and put it in a 9X13 pan.
    Note #2….In the future, I will cook this in two 8″ or 9″ pans rather than baking it in a 9X13 pan
    so it will cook more evenly.

    The dark brown sugar gives a much better taste than does the light brown variety.

    2 c. Half & Half
    1 15-oz can pureed pumpkin (Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin)
    1 c. + 2 T packed dark brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 1/2 t. cinnamon
    1 1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
    1 1/2 t.vanilla
    dash salt
    10 c. Challah bread cut into 1/2″ cubes (about a loaf and a half of
    bread needed to double the recipe)

    PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk all except bread in a
    large bowl. Fold in bread cubes. Let stand 15
    minutes. Bake about 40 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.

    1 1/4 c. packed dark brown sugar
    1/2 c. unsalted butter
    1/2 c. whipping cream
    Whisk dark brown sugar and unsalted butter in heavy saucepan over medium
    heat until butter melts. Whisk in cream and stir until sugar dissolves
    and sauce is smooth (about 3 minutes.)

    [I can attest -- this recipe is INCREDIBLE. -admin]

  • KarenT

    Patricia, that cranberry relish sounds great. Cardamom loses its fragrance quickly once ground. Try buying whole pods (Asian groceries are a good source) and pounding the seeds with a hammer in the plastic liner from a cereal box.

    Oregon Catholic, to try mashed parsnips and carrots: Buy one big parsnip for each 3 or 4 carrots you want to cook. Peel and slice the parsnips and start to simmer them in a little water in a saucepan with a tight lid. Peel and slice the carrots and add to the simmering parsnips. When the parsnips get soft and the carrots are tender, remove the lid and allow the water to evaporate from the pan, watching carefully. Add butter, salt and pepper to taste. You either leave the carrot slices whole and allow the soft parsnips to “coat” them as you stir, or you can mash the carrots and parsnips with a potato masher.

  • KarenT

    Pianogirl, I make a double batch of the PUMPKIN BREAD PUDDING in a heavy 10 x 15 inch pan, but 2 smaller pans should also work. I use a 12-oz can of evaporated milk and 1/2 cup of milk in place of the 2 cups of half-and-half. I save the cream for the sauce. Yum.

  • Sal

    Need an appetizer? Try a nice hunk of white cheddar, served with your choice of crackers (we like Keeblers Snackers), thinly sliced Granny Smith apple and honey in the comb.
    A great combination of flavors.

  • http://www.thewickednoodle.com/ the wicked noodle

    I don’t think I’ve ever found a Thanksgiving recipe I didn’t love!