Thanksgiving Recipe Series #3- Side Dishes

Today’s blog in Bensalem Comfort’s Thanksgiving Recipe Series is all about side dishes.  Sometimes Thanksgiving side dishes steal the show from the turkey itself!  We all love our casseroles and sweet potatoes, cornbread and cranberry sauce, but sometimes it’s nice to try something new.  To mix things up a bit, I’ve decided to post two side dishes that are a little different from the traditional Thanksgiving fixings.

Relax, your Aunt Edna can still cook up her green bean casserole and grandma can still make those ooey gooey sweet potatoes everyone loves because they will go perfectly with the roasted Brussels sprouts with a bacon, mustard and walnut vinaigrette and the apple-cranberry wild rice recipes posted below.  I hope you enjoy mixing in some new recipes with your old family favorites.  Happy cooking!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with a Bacon, Mustard and Walnut Vinaigrette


1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces slab bacon, cut into lardoons

1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, sliced

2 shallots, sliced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon grainy mustard


1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Toss the Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread the Brussels sprouts out on the baking sheet and roast, stirring once or twice during the cooking process, until tender and charred in spots, 35 to 40 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, add the bacon to a medium saute pan and render over medium heat, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the walnuts, garlic, shallots and a pinch of salt. Cook until the bacon is crispy, being careful not to burn the walnuts. Stir in the vinegar, honey and mustard with a fork. Whisk into the bacon fat until emulsified. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

4. Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a large mixing bowl, add the bacon mixture and toss well. Serve.

*Cook’s Note: The Brussels sprouts and bacon mixture can be made up to 4 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. Rewarm the Brussels sprouts before serving.

Apple-Cranberry Wild Rice

Prep: 5 min, Cook: 1-1/4 hours, Servings:6


2-3/4 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup uncooked wild rice

1 teaspoon dried savory

1small leek (white portion only), coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon California Olive Ranch® Olive Oil

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped dried apples

6 tablespoons chicken broth, divided

1/2 teaspoon onion salt

1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning


1. In a large saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Stir in the rice. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until rice is tender. Drain. Stir in savory; set aside.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, saute leek in oil for 1 minute. Stir in cranberries, apples and 3 tablespoons broth. Cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until fruit is tender, stirring occasionally.

3. Add rice, onion salt, lemon-pepper and remaining broth. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Yield: 6 servings.

*If you missed parts 1 or 2 from Bensalem Comfort’s Thanksgiving Recipe Series, refer to my blog posts from November 12th and 13th.

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