I love the tradition of Thanksgiving— of eating foods that reappear the same time every year. But who hasn’t surveyed the Thanksgiving table looking for something new? It’s nice to have fresh inspiration; we’re always thankful that a guest has brought a new dish we’ve never tasted before. Since I serve repeat guests Thanksgiving dinner at The Inn at Easton, I’m challenged to come up with new side dishes to keep the menu fresh. These four delicious recipes can brighten up your repertoire while not excluding the standbys. A fried curried eggplant dish cooled with lemon yogurt and garnished with green beans speaks to the ever-growing interest in vegetarian and vegan dishes. To celebrate the fall, you can’t go wrong with wild mushrooms accented with grilled leeks— white truffle butter adds a little lift. The fondant yams glazed with maple syrup and flavored with smoky bacon is derived from a classic French side dish. (Note the special roasting trick in the recipe.) The savory corn bread and butter pudding is an invention based on my love of chorizo. Add sage and black olives and you have a wonderful starch side that’s oh-so-good, but oh-so-different, too.
Andrew Evans is the chef and owner of The Inn at Easton.