A Delicious Thanksgiving Recipe for TLT Readers

by Bettina Elias Siegel on November 20, 2012

After this post I’ll be signing off for the week, but before I go I wanted to share a fantastic recipe for your holiday table — or any time.

I was just in New York City and while there my mom treated me to a birthday dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, ABC Kitchen.  And one of the best things we had that night was a dish made of grilled bread topped with ricotta cheese, mashed kabocha squash and mint.

photo copyright New York Times

Now, I know what you’re thinking:  how good could that be?  Well, let me tell you, people, it was moan-out-loud-amazing. But don’t take my word for it.  In a funny coincidence,  New York Times food writer Mark Bittman wrote about this very dish just two days after we had it and said, “Something about it drives me wild.”  I agree!

Bittman notes that the dish would make a great addition to a Thanksgiving  meal and now that he’s published the recipe, I’ve decided to serve it as my appetizer.  But if you do the same, keep the portions small because with the thickly sliced, grilled bread, creamy ricotta, etc., this is a pretty filling tidbit.  As another New York Times food writer, Sam Sifton, recently said in dismissing the whole concept of Thanksgiving appetizers:

I did not sit in my kitchen on Saturday night making lists, and deal with brining a bird on Monday night, and bake pies on Tuesday night, and spend all of Thursday cooking turkey, sides and gravy, then set a table appropriate to presidents and kings, so that you could come into my house and eat a pound and a half of nuts and guacamole before sitting down for the Thanksgiving feast.

Ha!  So true! :-)

And finally, during this holiday celebrating bounty, let’s not forget that almost 1/4 of all American kids are living in food-insecure households.  You can always click on the “Help Hungry Kids” tab above for links to several reputable charities working to alleviate hunger here in the United States and around the world.   I also provide a link to the addictive Free Rice game, which tests your knowledge of various subjects while helping to feed the hungry.

Have a safe and happy holiday!  See you next week.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Purple Asparagus November 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Betina, Thanks for sharing. I’ve got a TON of extra squash puree. Squash is Purple Asparagus’ featured November ingredient. While I think I’ll pass on it for Turkey Day, we’re having folks over for dinner on Saturday and this will be a perfect app.

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Bettina Elias Siegel November 20, 2012 at 11:29 pm

I hope you like it! And I hope my version comes close to the restaurant’s, too.

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Kaya November 24, 2012 at 1:45 am

How did Kabocha come? Unlike Squash, Kabocha is always hard, like a stone, to cut it. Many Japanese moms put them in a microwave to soften it…

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Bettina Elias Siegel November 24, 2012 at 11:17 am

Kaya: So funny you should say this. The video on the NYT website made it look very easy to cut the squash but it was impossible! (Not to mention highly dangerous as my big knife kept slipping off.) My mom happened to be watching and suggested microwaving it before cutting, which worked like a charm. Clearly all moms – not just Japanese moms – are very wise in the kitchen! :-) The end result wasn’t quite as good as ABC’s version – for some reason it was a little too sweet – but we still enjoyed it.

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Kaya November 28, 2012 at 12:58 am

Haha. My first question when I saw them at the airport was about Kabocha. They thought that was funny. Mama-San shared with me the episode of hard Kabocha, and told me about having suggested using the microwave:) She’s exceptionally smart and wise, but it was another moment to cofirm her intelligence!
Afterall, they told me it was very good! Maybe I should try to make it….

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