Though turkey is the indisputable star, there are more vegetables at Thanksgiving dinner than most families see in a week of regular meals. With so many side dishes, there is an opportunity to put a new twist on an old stand-by, and still be sure everyone gets their favorite.
Every Thanksgiving dinner prepared by my mother included her favorite side dish: carrots mashed with turnip. Served alongside mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, it didn’t provide much variety of texture or flavor, but we all had to have a taste. Though she’s no longer with us, we dutifully put my mom’s carrots and turnip out next to the stuffing and cranberry sauce every year. This year, I’m planning an update she’d have approved:
Turnip & Carrot with Cider Glaze
4 Cups Apple Cider
2 purple top turnips, washed thoroughly and chopped into 1” dice
4 carrots, washed, peeled and chopped into 1” pieces
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
In a saucepan over medium heat, simmer the cider, skimming the foam, until reduced to a syrup consistency, an hour and a half or more. (Yield: 1 cup)
Sauté carrots and turnip 5 - 10 minutes in olive oil, season with salt & pepper. Add ½ cup cider glaze (reserve extra for another use) cover and cook 5-10 additional minutes, then remove cover and cook until glaze thickens and coats vegetables. (Serves 6-8 as a side dish)
Cider glaze is easy to make, and it keeps well in the refrigerator. Apple cider is unique and versatile in that it retains its tartness as it reduces, giving it a delicious sweet-sour punch. It can be used many ways: to top seared sea scallops, pork, chicken, and roasted root vegetables; in bacon vinaigrette; and mixed with caramel drizzled over dessert.