What's on your Thanksgiving menu?

Thought we had a more recent thread on this - I found one in the archives here:


Please share your special Thanksgiving dish.

I've made this a few times as a side dish. Everybody seems to love it.

Note that Ricotta Salata is very expensive these days, due to the Trump tariffs on Italian cheese. I'm going to substitute a goat cheese this time.

Also, the recipe calls for cutting the squash into wedges, which I find kind of difficult to do. Cubing it is fine.

Butternut Squash with Sage Hazelnut Pesto

• 1/4 cup sage, chopped
• 4 tablespoons olive oil (up to 5 tablespoons)
• 1 clove garlic, smashed
• 1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted
• 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons ricotta salata, crumbled or chopped until a medium fine crumble
• 1 pinch salt
Butternut Squash
• 2 butternut squashes [about 3.5 lbs total when unpeeled]
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, depending on taste (up to 1/2 teaspoon)
1. Preheat the oven to 500 and place a rack in the lowest slot in the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
2. Peel the butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut each squash half in half width wise, right where the slender part curves out to the bulge. Cut each quarter into about 1 inch wedges (see picture) and place in a bowl.
3. Toss squash with olive oil, sugar, salt, and cayenne. Place in a single layer on baking sheet.
4. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes until caramelized. Remove from oven and flip over. Bake another 10 to 15 minutes until caramelized on the other side and cooked through. The pieces on the edges of the baking sheet will caramelize first so you want to move around during the baking time.
5. While the squash is roasting, make the pesto: Warm 3 tablespoons olive oil, sage, and garlic in a small pan over very low heat just until the oil bubbles. Pour in a small bowl, reserving the garlic clove. Place the toasted hazelnuts in mini food processor along with the garlic clove and process until a fine crumble and add to the bowl (alternatively, you can do by hand or in a mortar and pestle). Add the cheese to the bowl along with 1 to 2 tablespoons more olive oil and stir until combined and salt to taste. This is not a traditional pesto -- more nutty than herby and not so much oil.
6. Once the squash is roasted, place in a large bowl and toss with pesto to taste. Dig in.

Is anyone arranging for the Community Retelling of Alice’s Restaurant? That was fun, a few years ago. 

This year we are doing a turkey breast on the rotisserie on our grill, and doing some thighs and drumsticks in the Instant Pot. I'll finish the dark meat pieces under the broiler to crisp the skin a little. The breast stays nice and juicy and gets evenly browned.

Some quite delicious, and not too fiddly, apple desserts here. Almost any one of them would be a treat


oh joanne, those look wonderful!

now if only i could set aside a month or two and bake one a day! (and of course gain 20 or 30 pounds).  Our Thanksgiving already usually includes apple stuffing for the turkey, sweet potato and apple casserole, and apple pie, this year somebody wants applesauce... maybe just give up and have an all-apple feast??  Julia Child would not approve, but at least it would be memorable, for better or for worse.

Happy holiday all!!

dammit. I think I burned the hazelnuts

5 bucks worth of filberts, down the tubes.


drummerboy said:

5 bucks worth of filberts, down the tubes.


 Not the same, of course, but could you substitute pecan or other nuts? (I love macademias but am only allowed cashews these days)

I'm not a fan of pecans. Hazelnuts work really well here. I already bought the replacements. I just have to adjust my toasting technique.

eternal vigilance = the key to toasting nuts

drummerboy said:

I'm not a fan of pecans. Hazelnuts work really well here. I already bought the replacements. I just have to adjust my toasting technique.

 My mother adored them, especially when they were still just warm from roasting because it brought back memories of her childhood (buying little paper twists of them on the way back from school from the street vendors in the freezing Parisian winters...which she’d be remembering in the middle of the scorching Aussie summers!).  
She managed to find a local nut grower who had award-winning nuts; he roasted some for her, and helped her chop them finely (not ground) for a special stuffing she wanted to make for some fancy French recipe. She worked really hard on this dish for hours, it was amazing -and she was an incredibly good cook- and pretty much we were all so full by the time main course came around, everyone ignored the stuffed poultry. She was heart-broken! The dish was not the same next-day. LOL 

mjc said:

eternal vigilance = the key to toasting nuts

 yes - apparently. I'm a "set the timer and go into the next room" kind of guy.

For the veggos and vegans, here's a lovely set of ideas.  Personally, I love some of the mushrooms and pulse recipes; you might find inspiration elsewhere (some of the pies and soups are delish!)


Trying my first dry brined turkey breast...

Seems simple and since we no longer have an extra fridge for the wet method!

Most everything else from Whole Foods!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ron Carter

Time to attack the butternut squash.

And later, I might regale you all with the ridiculous amount of time I spent with hazelnuts yesterday.

Ever since Simone and I brought spaetzle to TG - it's remained a staple every since - goes great with everything.  Once made - we add swiss/gruyere cheese and onions - melt it all in a big casserole dish.

I hope shoprite is open in the morning

I know Stop and Shop is from 6-5.

Squash batch two is currently roasting, under a watchful eye.

So this is what I, a JAP, made for Thanksgiving:


On the spit and ready to rotisserie. 

Okay I forgot that picture will now be on the main page until another picture gets posted, and some people won't like a picture of raw turkey. So here is a picture of mashed potatoes I downloaded.

Turned out great. Perfectly cooked white meat and dark meat.

We did it!  We had 30 people for Thanksgiving - the first year at our house. Usually we go to my wife's aunt's house (for 50 years) but this year she wasn't up to it so we said sure, we would have it. We have a big family. We got the roasted turkey from Ashley and it was excellent. (They were very busy when I picked it up, and I was glad to see it.) Three grandchildren ages 10 - 20 still sleeping upstairs, getting ready to do some shopping. I have a lot to be thankful for.

eta - We'll have challah French Toast when everybody gets up - it's traditional when they visit. 

Hats off to you, Cramer. 30 people is a massive undertaking.

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