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Have you finalized your Thanksgiving menu yet? Or are you feeling the panic set in as you realize, you have less then two weeks to plan the biggest meal of the year? Whether you’re hosting the entire family or bringing a side to festivities at another home, we’ve got some yummy, time tested Thanksgiving recipes for you. Check in at we heart this as we count down to the big day with delicious recipes for popular and traditional Thanksgiving dishes guaranteed to delight the entire table.
For Green Monday, we’re starting with one of my very favorite Thanksgiving sides, a Sweet Potato and Carrot Purée adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook. On a recent episode of Top Chef, guest judge Natalie Portman (an avid vegetarian) made the observation that often times vegetarians need to finagle a meal together without a main entrée by using a mixture of sides. While I totally agreed with her assessment (many times I’m disappointed at the slapped together sides equaling the veggie plate at top restaurants) I must admit, making a meal of the sides is my favorite thing about Thanksgiving!
And my plate would not be complete without a generous serving of the Sweet potato and Carrot Purée next to my mashed potatoes. This light as air puree brings the necessary Sweet Potato to your Thanksgiving table without the overwhelming sweetness found in many yam and sweet potato recipes. There’s no marshmallows; a no-no for vegetarians (they contain gelatin) in this dish either.
Don’t worry; the recipe is still decadent and luscious, perfect for a true Thanksgiving feast. This version from cooks.com, made famous with the publishing of 1982’s The Silver Palate Cookbook, has the perfect blend of fall spices and a rich, full feeling thanks to the creme fraiche. Weight watchers could swap out the crème fraiche for yogurt, but we say it’s a special day – add as much fat and calories as possible!
Sweet Potato and Carrot Puree
• 4 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
• 1 pound carrots
• 2 ½ C water
• 1T sugar
• 12 T butter (or less)
• ½ C creme fraiche
• ½ t freshly grated nutmeg
• Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
• Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Scrub potatoes and cut a small, deep slit in top of each. Set on centered rack of 375 degree preheated oven. Bake 1 hour or until tender.
2. Peel carrots and cut into 1-inch lengths. Put them in a saucepan with water, sugar 2T butter, and salt and pepper to taste.
3. Set over medium heat, bring to a boil, and cook uncovered until water has evaporated and carrots begin to sizzle in the butter (about 30 minutes). The carrots should be tender. If not, add additional water and cook until carrots are done and water has evaporated.
4. Scrape out the flesh of the sweet potatoes and combine with the carrots in the bowl of a food processor.
5. Add remaining butter and creme fraiche and process until smooth.
6. Add nutmeg, cayenne, if desired and salt and pepper to taste.
7. Transfer to an ovenproof serving dish and cover with foil. Cook in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 minutes, until hot.
A note on crème fraiche: You can buy this French favorite that’s similar to sour cream (it’s soured cream with at least 25% butterfat) in the “fine foods” section of many grocery stores, as well as some Trader Joe’s. Additionally, you can make your own by using heavy cream and sour cream. Scroll to the bottom of the cooks.com Sweet Potato and Carrot Puree for instructions.