We’ve talked about our love of Half-Baked Harvest‘s Tieghan Gerard before. Her no-knead bread and pizza dough is a dream. Her cookbook is fabulous. So it’s no surprise that we’re smitten with her Thanksgiving sides.
We asked Tieghan for three side dish recipes that would cook up beautifully in our Staub line. (Have you seen our exclusive new stackable Staub?) They’re so good-looking you just might forget the turkey. We ended up with a bonus: Tieghan’s four pro tips for the very tastiest, low-stress meal.
1. Balance Heaviness and Lightness
The best Thanksgiving table is the one laden with a “a balance of heavier dishes like potatoes and lighter, more vegetable-heavy sides,” says Tieghan. Consider her brown sugar and pineapple-roasted acorn squash, for example, which somehow splits the difference. Pineapple and the squash caramelize together as they cook, making them a gorgeously sweet foil for the chile-cinnamon brown butter you pour over it. Yum.
2. Think: Make Ahead
We’ve said it once, but we’ll say it again: Make-ahead Thanksgiving is the best Thanksgiving. Tieghan, who “loves to have a nice variety” of five to six sides every year, agrees. “My one rule is that all sides must be easy to prepare in advance, except the salad.” She’ll pre-bake most of the sides, then finish them off once the turkey comes out of the oven. “This way they’re all hot for everyone to enjoy!”
3. Go For a Casual Buffet
A surefire way to get a Thanksgiving hosting headache is to try to plate all the food at once. “I love a buffet table,” says Tieghan. “We always keep gravy boats and butter for rolls on either ends of the table.” (It’s a good bet we’d be dunking those rolls into the marvelous syrup that comes along with these roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and salted honey!) So keep it casual, and keep your own happiness in mind as you plan. (Can you do less? Try it out!)
4. Keep Your Own Favorites on the Menu
Thanksgiving just isn’t the same without “a big green salad” in Tieghan’s home. (But everything in moderation. Her secret ingredient” is “butter, always butter!”) So whether you absolutely have to have a pecan-brown sugar cranberry Brie pull-apart bread on the table, Grandma’s secret stuffing, or Dad’s marvelous Parker House rolls, do be sure to include the side dish you love the most. As for this pull-apart bread, Tieghan says it’s gone in minutes when she serves it to her family… which is the way it should be this time of year.