thanksgiving

Nutty Cauliflower Pilaf

Last night we went to our friends' house for their annual Friendsgiving party. The celebration has grown to about 40 people and features the most amazing potluck feast you can imagine! We all sign up for dishes in advance and this year I brought a Nutty Cauliflower Pilaf using a bag of Taylor Farms Cauliflower Pearls. I thought this would be a good one to bring since it's gluten-free and we have several friends that are gluten intolerant. (Also, one of the only vegetables I can currently get Ezra to eat is cauliflower in this riced/pearl form!) I mixed the cauliflower with quinoa to give it a bit more substance, and for crunch and chew, you can mix in any nuts, seeds or dried berries you have on hand. This will be making a repeat appearance at our Thanksgiving table this Thursday.

I also made a couple quick, seasonal sides to go with it: A simple Kale Salad with baby kale, persimmons and pomegranate seeds, plus some Crispy Old Bay Brussels (see recipes below.)

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Nutty Cauliflower Pilaf

16 oz (1 bag) Taylor Farms Cauliflower Pearls

1 c cooked red or white quinoa

2T butter

2T olive oil

1/4 c golden raisins

1/4 c dried cherries

1/4 c shelled whole pistachios (or chop, if you prefer)

1/4 c sunflower seeds

salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, sauté the cauliflower pearls with the butter and olive oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are softer, translucent and just starting to brown. Mix in all other ingredients and serve warm in a bowl or on a platter. Serves 6 as a side (easily doubled or tripled for a larger group).

Kale Salad with Persimmon & Pomegranate

11 oz (1 box) Taylor Farms Organic Baby Kale

1 Fuyu persimmon (I leave the peel on)

1/3 c fresh pomegranate seeds (about a 1/2  pomegranate)

Place baby kale on a large platter and top with slices of persimmon and pomegranate seeds. Use your favorite balsamic dressing. Serves about 6. 

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Crispy Old Bay Brussels

9 oz (1 bag) Taylor Farms Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Olive oil

Old Bay seasoning

Spread the brussels out on a baking sheet in a thin, even layer and drizzle the entire surface generously with olive oil and sprinkle with plenty of Old Bay seasoning (which adds saltiness and spiciness). Roast in the oven at 400ºF for about 20 minutes, tossing once or twice, until some bits are brown and crispy. Check it occasionally to make sure it's not burning. Serve hot. This dish is best served relatively soon after roasting, as the crispiness will reduce with time. Serves about 4 as a side.

We are hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year– 18 people for dinner in our little cabin will be quite cozy...we are excited! Check my Instagram stories for more (@theforestfeast). 

Happy Thanksgiving,

Erin

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This post was done in partnership with Taylor Farms. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Forest Feast possible.

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On my recent trip to Spain, I bought these adorable Moroccan tea glasses in Granada, sold all over the city because of its Moorish history. I drink a lot of tea during the week, but when hosting a holiday party, I like to make a big pot of cider. It makes the house smell so cozy as guests walk in.

Did you know that the word granada means pomegranate in Spanish?! I learned this as I saw pomegranate trees full of fruit growing all over the Granada- so amazing. Because of this, I was inspired to add fresh pomegranates to cider. I simmered apple juice, pomegranate juice and spices, then garnished each cup with fresh pomegranate seeds and an apple slice decorated with cloves. I think this would be a fun after-dinner drink on Thanksgiving Day to cozy up by the fire with (plus, it can be spiked with bourbon for the adults!).

For the recipe, click on over to my full post (with more photos!) on the Better Homes & Gardens website.

Cheers…And Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

Photos & Illustration by Erin Gleeson

My Quinoa in People Mag!

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Apparently, 2013 has been named the “International Year of Quinoa”! For this reason, People Magazine reached out to me looking for a quinoa recipe, and they chose one of my favorites- my Fall Quinoa Salad with red bell peppers, butternut squash and dried figs. It’s featured in the November 11th issue of People which is on stands now (a collector’s issue with the Royals on the cover!). This recipe can be served warm or at room temperature and would be a great Thanksgiving side (especially for all your gluten free guests!). 

And if you’re really into quinoa, here are a couple other ideas:

Quinoa Edamame Salad   &   Mushroom Quinoa Risotto

By Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast

Persimmon Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving! Jonathan and I left the woods for the beach and we’re spending the holiday weekend with my family in Santa Barbara. I am blogging for Better Homes and Gardens now, so I tried their New Cranberry Sauce recipe this year and it’s delicious! It has onions, garlic and persimmon, which give it a fantastic flavor. For more photos of this dish and my beachy Thanksgiving, check out today’s post on the Better Homes and Gardens website.

Persimmon Squash Salad

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Persimmons are my favorite autumn fruit and I was so excited to share this recipe on Design Sponge on Friday- it’s a great, alternative Thanksgiving side salad. Trees around the Bay Area are bursting with persimmons right now and my friend, photographer Topher Simon, let me come over and pick from (and photograph!) his tree. Be sure when eating persimmons raw you choose the Fuyu variety- they are more squat and crunchy. The other more oblong variety leave a pasty taste in your mouth when eaten raw- they  are meant for cooking with.

Check out the Design Sponge post of this recipe for more photos and detailed instructions. Enjoy!

By Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast