This year’s turkey day will be different for many of us, my family included. Our college boy is coming home, and we’re locking down for the week, lest we expose our extended family to any cooties. But if you’re looking at your measuring cup as half full, a world of possibilities open up if you’re feeding five, not 25. When it’s “just us,” you can gobble PB&Js off paper plates and watch football all day. Or serve your family’s celebratory meal, the one usually reserved for birthdays and good report cards. Or you can skip the bird entirely and make a meal of appetizers, sides and desserts, which is what my dill dip, canned cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie-loving people will do.
This parsnip puree is a jazzy, savory side dish that usurps traditional mashed potatoes. Parsnips resemble white carrots, with a peppery bite that gives a spicy buzz minus the spices. This recipe happens to be vegan, but you don’t have to be dairy-free to appreciate the creamy goodness of roasted garlic. In fact, if you really, really love garlic, you can add two heads. When it’s just us, no one cares if you need a mint.