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Poached Pears


Classic Roast Turkey

Classic Roast TurkeyPhotography by Terry Brennan, Food styling by Betsy Nelson

A classic, yummy take on the Thanksgiving turkey.


  • 1 pasture-raised heritage turkey
  • Fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, marjoram, etc.)
  • Butter
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Start with a pasture-raised heritage turkey. Wash and pat it dry.
  3. Season inside and out with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs like rosemary, sage and marjoram. Rub outside skin with butter.
  4. Place turkey breast-side down on a roasting rack; cook for 13 minutes per pound.
  5. Turn over halfway through roasting. (For a commercial-grocery-store turkey, roast for 20 minutes per pound, half of the time covered, half uncovered.) For safety, all poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.


Persimmon Prosciutto Salad

Persimmon Prosciutto saladPhotography by Erin Kunkel

Persimmons topped with a pomegranate vinaigrette give this salad festive color and flavor.

Makes 10 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes


  • 6 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into ribbons
  • 4 bunches watercress, thick stems trimmed
  • 3 persimmons, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup roasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pure pomegranate juice
  • 1/3 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. light-colored raw honey
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Divide the watercress, prosciutto, persimmons, pomegranate seeds, and pepitas among 10 plates, or combine all the ingredients in a salad bowl and toss.
  2. To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, pomegranate juice, vinegar, honey, and mustard, and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the dressing over each salad, or add ½ cup of the dressing to the salad bowl and toss to coat.
  3. Serve immediately with the extra dressing on the side.


Healthy Root-Vegetable Gratin

The Modern Potluck

This is a great dish to prepare ahead. The assembled gratin can be refrigerated overnight; to keep the nuts from getting soft, sprinkle them on just before serving. You can transport this gratin in an insulated carrier and serve it hot, but it’s also terrific served at room temperature.

Makes eight to 12 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 90 minutes


  • 2 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 large celery root (2 lb.), peeled with a sharp knife and halved lengthwise
  • 1 medium rutabaga (2 lb.), peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 tbs. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 tsp. roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves


  1. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice the potatoes lengthwise into slabs that are about 1⁄8-inch thick. Halve the celery root and the rutabaga, and slice each into 1⁄8-inch-thick slabs, as well.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-x-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Arrange one-third of the sweet potatoes in the dish, overlapping them slightly; season with salt and pepper. Top with half the rutabaga and then half the celery root, seasoning each layer.
  3. Repeat the layering, ending with a third layer of sweet potatoes. Pour the broth over and around the vegetables. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the vegetables feel almost tender when pierced. Pour the cream over the gratin. Bake for 30 minutes, until the liquid has thickened.
  5. Meanwhile, spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about four minutes, until fragrant. Let cool, and then coarsely chop. Return the chopped walnuts to the baking sheet, toss with the 1/2 tablespoon of butter and the thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Toast the nuts until nicely browned, about two minutes.
  6. Remove the gratin from the oven and top with the walnuts. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.


Herb-Infused Cauliflower Rice

Herb infused cauliflowerPhotos: Andrea DAgosto; Prop Styling: Alicia Buszczak; Food Stylist: Paul Jackman

This Indian-inspired paleo rice has turmeric, coriander, cumin, and other warming spices.

Makes six servings
Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Cook time: five to six minutes


  • 1 1/2 lb. cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 1-in. florets
  • 6 tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup tightly packed chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed chopped mint leaves


  1. Place the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket and steam until just tender-crisp, five to six minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Place the cooked cauliflower in a food processor and pulse about 15 times, until the texture is fine, with pieces about the size of rice grains.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, turmeric, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Add the cauliflower and toss well to coat. Taste, and adjust with a couple of pinches of salt, if needed.
  4. When the cauliflower has completely cooled, fold in the parsley and mint. Serve at room temperature.


Poached Pears

Poached PearsPhoto: Terry Brennan; Food Styling: Betsy Nelson

A classic dessert whose beauty and elegance belie its simplicity.

Makes four servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes


  • 4 Bosc pears, peeled
  • 3 cups tart cherry juice, unsweetened apple juice or pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 fresh vanilla bean, split
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche or mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts


  1. Scoop out the core from the bottom of each pear using a melon baller. Make sure you have removed all the seeds, but keep the bottom of the pear intact.
  2. Add the fruit juice, honey and vanilla bean to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add the pears; if the pears are not covered with the poaching liquid, add water to cover them.
  4. Cover the pears with a circle of parchment paper that has a 1-inch diameter vent hole in the center of it.
  5. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for about 20 to 25 minutes. If a paring knife goes in easily, the pears are done. Remove the pears from the simmering liquid and place on a tray to cool. Continue to simmer the poaching liquid until it is reduced by half.
  6. Serve the pears drizzled with the cooled poaching liquid, a dollop of crème fraîche and a sprinkling of hazelnuts.

For even more, healthy, Thanksgiving recipe ideas, visit “Your Thanksgiving Menu Planner“.

Photography by: Terry Brennan; Food Styling: Betsy Nelson

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