3 more side dish ideas for the table
From items you've been walking past in the produce aisle
Side dish ideas: If you're looking for one more Thanksgiving dish, pick from among these items you've been walking past in the produce aisle. (Los Angeles Times)
Generally known as Jerusalem artichokes, these knobby tubers don't really resemble artichokes, and they're native to North America, not the Middle East. They look more like ginger roots than anything else. Sunchokes have a crisp texture and a mildly sweet flavor. The biggest problem with preparing sunchokes is cleaning them: Scrub with a brush under cold running water.
Leave the skin on and chop them into 1-inch pieces and roast with other root vegetables, tossed with olive oil and garlic. Or simmer in salted water, puree, then add to mashed potatoes for a sweeter, deeper flavor.
Also known as celeriac, celery root is grown for its bulbous root. Beneath the tough, gnarly exterior is a mild-mannered root vegetable with the flavor of celery, only more earthy. The vegetable is usually sold without its long green stems and leaves, but if you find some intact, save the leaves to flavor whatever you make. Choose bulbs that are firm.
Peeling the thick skin can be tough so try this: Lop off the top and bottom, place the bulb cut-side down on a cutting board, position a knife blade where the skin meets the flesh and shave in downward, curving strokes, turning as you go. (Flip the bulb over to finish the other end if necessary.) Celery root can be eaten raw (shaved into a slaw) or cooked (sliced in a gratin, roasted in thick sticks or cooked and pureed as a soup garnished with those leaves).
There are two main families of persimmons: Hachiya, the large acorn-shaped ones, need to ripen to an almost mousselike texture before they are ready to eat. Enjoy them out of hand or use them in a pudding.
But Fuyu persimmons, which are small and squat, can be eaten crisp and lend themselves to more Thanksgiving options. Try them sliced into narrow wedges and tossed in a salad of young kale leaves, toasted walnuts, crumbled blue cheese and a light, citrusy vinaigrette.
— Tribune Newspapers