Now is the time of year when I can’t believe that vegetables still grow and flourish—it’s cold and seems like only occasionally sunny. Everything grows s-o v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y that patience and hope are necessary requirements.
So every Sunday, I’m amazed at the offerings at my local farmers’ market and feel so very thankful to the farmers who are motivated to do whatever is necessary to grow the fresh food that I cherish.
But that’s not entirely why I’m writing. I am thinking about vegetables because it is my responsibility to bring a vegetable side dish to the Thanksgiving feast I’m attending this coming Thursday. I know I want to make something nontraditional, so this year, string beans with almonds (my default) is not in the running.
To honor the season’s bounty here in Northern California, I’m thinking of gathering farmers’ market vegetables—maybe cauliflower and broccoli; carrot, beet, potato, and fennel; some lingering summer veggies like zucchini, green beans, and sweet pepper; onion, leek, and shallot; and some kale. I envision chopping them into similar size pieces; tossing them with olive oil, salt, and pepper; and roasting them until caramelized.
They would taste good just like that, but that’s not all. I got an idea—inspired from a vegan sides article in this month’s issue of Sunset magazine (thank you, Sunset!)—to sprinkle the caramelized veggies with ground up toasted almonds, toasted sesame seeds, and ground cumin (and/or other ground spice that jumps off the shelf) for a tangy and tasty crunch.
There is a lot to be grateful for. And having you as a reader is one of them. Happy Thanksgiving!