A vegetarian Thanksgiving feast: 5-course seasonal menu with wine pairing and game plan!

As a junior in college and a new immigrant to this country, I was quick to adopt Thanksgiving as my favorite holiday.

We Americans may have inherited this ritual of giving thanks from the Pilgrims, but throughout history people of all nations have celebrated harvest time with a feast.

Now that’s where I get very excited about this special holiday. Cooking being my passion, having the chance to make a feast is something I anticipate with great joy each year.

When planning my own Thanksgiving menu, I follow the original spirit of this special holiday and let the abundance of the harvest itself guide me. Since I do most of my shopping at our local farmers’ markets from spring through fall, I’m familiar with the gorgeous produce they offer and the succession of crops.

Even at the end of November, there’s still a marvelous assortment of fresh veggies and fruits to choose from: Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, gorgeous red beets, leafy greens, pumpkins and winter squashes, apples and pears… the list goes on and on, and out of it my menu takes shape beautifully.

From the first bite of the spicy beet-green crostini and the first sip of the sumptuous pear Bellini to the last morsel of dessert, the mood for this feast is set. May it inspire you to create a Thanksgiving feast that is as delicious as it is joyful in the true spirit of giving thanks!

This Thanksgiving menu was featured in the November 2008 issue of Rockland Magazine. To read the full feature click on Plan a Healthy Thanksgiving.

Featuring wines from Bonny Doon Vineyard

Spicy beet-green crostini
Endive boats with fresh ricotta and baked beets
Marinated olives with fennel, lemon and chili pepper
Roasted cashews with curry spices (from Tierra Farm shown with the Bellini)
Pear Bellini

Winter squash soup with citrus-mint pesto
Baby spinach salad with dried cranberries, feta and maple-glazed pecans
Pan-roasted shallot vinaigrette
Bonny Doon, Le Cigare Blanc

Shiitake mushroom and Yukon gold potato gratins with fresh herbs
Roasted butternut squash with garlic and sage
Maple-glazed pan-roasted Brussels sprouts with chestnuts
Cauliflower purée with parmesan and thyme
Cranberry-fig chutney
Bonny Doon, Syrah “Le Pousseur”

Apple-pear crisps with macadamia crumb
Calvados Chantilly
Bonny Doon, Le Vol des Anges

Game Plan
Buy wines

Buy vegetables and groceries (I like to buy the veggies as close to the time I need them as possible. The longer they sit in the refrigerator, the more they lose both nutrition and flavor!)
Wash beet greens, spin dry, place in large Ziplock bag refrigerate
Wash spinach, spin dry, place in large Ziplock bag refrigerate
Cut baguette in slices for the crostini freeze

Bake the beets refrigerate
Make soup and pesto refrigerate
Make the marinated olives refrigerate

Set table and prep house
Make maple-glazed pecans place in Tupperware and store at room temperature
Blanch Brussels sprouts refrigerate
Make cranberry chutney refrigerate
Make Calvados chantilly refrigerate
Cut butternut squash, place in large Ziplock bag refrigerate

Make apple-pear crisp
Make gratins
Roast Butternut squash
Make cauliflower purée
Prep the beets for the endive boats
Slice the beet greens and garlic for the crostini
Slice the shallots for the spinach salad
Prep the ingredients for the Brussels sprouts

Take out the olives, soup and chutney from the refrigerator
Assemble the endive boats

Serve Bellini, olives, curried cashews and endive boats
Toast the baguette slices, sauté the beet greens and assemble crostini serve warm

Re-heat soup and serve

Make pan-roasted shallot vinaigrette
Assemble salad and serve

Re-heat gratins and butternut squash at 375ºF for 6 to 8 minutes
Re-heat cauliflower purée
Sauté Brussels sprouts
Plate main course and serve

Re-heat dessert and serve

Spicy beet-green crostini

Spicy Beet-Green Crostini

makes 16 crostini or serves 8
active time: 25 min

  1. 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili pepper flakes to taste
  3. 2 large garlic cloves – skinned and finely chopped
  4. 1 lb (455gr) beet greens (or Swiss chard) – trimmed, thoroughly rinsed, spun dry and cut in 1/4” strips
  5. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt to taste
  6. freshly ground black pepper to taste
  7. 16 baguettes slices – cut on the diagonal in 1/4″ thick slices
  8. extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

  1. Step 1: Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Add the oil, red pepper flakes and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute only. Add the beet greens and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until all the juices have evaporated and greens turn dark green, tossing from time to time. Add the salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Toss well and remove from heat.
  2. Step 2: Preheat the broiler. Toast the bread under the broiler on each side until golden and crispy. Top each bread slice with a small mound of beet greens and drizzle with a little olive oil. Set on a platter and serve warm.

appetizers, crostini, beet greens

Endive boats with fresh ricotta and roasted beets

Endive Boats with Fresh Ricotta and Baked Beets

makes 24 boats
active time: 30 min

For the beets

  1. 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
  2. 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  4. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  5. freshly ground black pepper to taste
  6. 4 medium baked red beetroots

For the endive boats

  1. 3 large Belgian endives – trimmed and leaves pulled from core (about 24 large leaves)
  2. 12 oz (340gr) fresh ricotta cheese
  3. sea salt to taste
  4. freshly ground black pepper to taste
  5. chive tips as garnish

  1. Step 1: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, chives, salt and pepper until well blended. Set aside.
  2. Step 2: Peel the beets by slipping the skins off with the back of a knife. Cut the beets in 1/8” cubes. Add the dressing, toss well and let stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.
  3. Step 3: Just before serving, place a spoonful of the ricotta in the bottom half of each endive leaf. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with the beet cubes. Garnish with a chive tip and serve.
  4. Cook’s note: The boats can be assembled up to 30 minutes ahead and kept at room temperature. Do not prepare too far ahead of time as the endives will wilt.

hors d’oeuvres, endive, beets

Marinated olives with fennel, lemon and chili pepper

Marinated Olives with Fennel, Lemon and Chili Pepper

makes 2 cups
active time: 15 min

  1. 1/2 small fennel bulb
  2. 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fennel greens
  3. 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili pepper flakes or 1 small fresh cayenne chili pepper, finely chopped
  4. 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  5. 2 strips lemon zest – use vegetable hand-peeler to peel the lemon zest and cut each strip in 1/16” julienne slices
  6. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  7. 1 1/4 lbs (567gr) mixed olives

  1. Trim and cut fennel bulb in half. Using a vegetable hand-peeler, shave 12 strips from the bulb and place in a large bowl. Add the balance of the ingredients. Stir well and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
  2. Cook’s note: Refrigerate up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.

hors d’oeuvres, olives, fennel

Pear Bellini

serves 8
active time: 10 min

  1. 1 ripe red bartlett pear – cut in 1/4” slices
  2. 6 oz (177ml) unsweetened pure pear juice
  3. 1 1/2 oz (44ml) Poire William (or grappa)
  4. 1 bottle Champagne or sparkling wine

  1. Place one pear slice in each Champagne flute. Shake pear juice and Poire William with large ice cubes. Pour in equal measure into the four champagne flutes. Top with Champagne or sparkling wine and serve immediately… Cin-cin!

cocktail, bellini, pear

Winter squash soup with citrus-mint pesto

Winter Squash Soup with Citrus-Mint Pesto

serves 8
active time: 30 min

For the soup

  1. 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 medium Vidalia or Spanish onion – peeled, quartered and cut crosswise in 1/8” slices
  3. 2 garlic cloves – skinned and finely chopped
  4. 1 cup dry white wine
  5. 3 lbs (1.36kg) winter squash (1 medium butternut squash, kabocha, sugar pumpkin…) – peeled (use vegetable hand-peeler), seeded and cut in 1″ chunks
  6. 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  7. 3 to 3 1/2 cups spring water
  8. 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt or to taste
  9. freshly ground black pepper to taste
  10. 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

For the citrus-mint pesto

  1. 1 small bunch Italian parsley (1 1/2 oz) (43gr) – tough stems removed
  2. 8 sprigs fresh mint – leaves removed from stems
  3. 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds – coarsely ground with mortar and pestle
  4. 1/4 teaspoon orange zest (use microplane grater)
  5. 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  6. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  7. freshly ground black pepper to taste
  8. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  1. Step 1: Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot to medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and onions and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes until golden, stirring from time to time. Add the garlic and wine. Stir well and continue to sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until the wine has evaporated and glazed the onions. Add the squash chunks, stock, 3 cups of water, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil and then simmer covered for 30 to 35 minutes, until the squash is very tender.
  2. Step 2: Add the orange juice and purée the soup with a stick blender or food processor, until silky-smooth. Thin the soup with water to the desired consistency. Adjust the seasoning if needed. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Step 3: While the soup is simmering, make the pesto. Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until very smooth, for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl once or twice. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Step 4: Ladle the soup into soup bowls. Place a spoonful of the pesto in the center of each bowl and serve immediately.
  5. Cook’s note: The soup can be made up to 3 days ahead and re-heated just before serving. It may need to be thinned with additional spring water, as the squash will absorb the liquids as it stands. Freezes well up to 1 month.

soup, butternut squash, winter squash, mint pesto

Baby Spinach Salad with Dried Cranberries, Feta and Maple-Glazed Pecans

serves 8
active time: 20 min

For the maple-glazed pecans

  1. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  3. 2/3 cups pecan halves
  4. sea salt to taste

For the vinaigrette

  1. 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  2. 3 large shallots – skinned, quartered and finely sliced
  3. 2 1/2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  4. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  5. freshly ground pepper to taste

For the salad

  1. 8 oz (227gr) baby spinach – rinsed and spun dry
  2. 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  3. 4 oz (113gr) French feta or sheep’s milk feta – crumbled
  1. freshly ground pepper to taste

  1. Step 1: For the maple-glazed pecans, heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, maple syrup and pecans. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently until the pecans are golden and the maple syrup has darkened. Spread the pecans on a cooling rack so the pan juices can drip down and sprinkle with salt. Once cooled place in a Tupperware until ready to use.
  2. Cook’s note: The pecans can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored room temperature.
  3. Step 2: Place the spinach in a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Step 3: To make the vinaigrette, heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the shallots. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until the shallots are light golden. Quickly add the balsamic, balance of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir well and remove from heat.
  5. Step 4: Pour the warm vinaigrette over the baby spinach. Toss well and divide equally in the center of eight salad bowls or plates (alternatively place in a large serving platter). Top with a few cranberries and a little crumbled feta. Garnish with the pecans. Finish with freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.

salad, spinach, cranberries

Shiitake Mushroom and Yukon Gold Potato Gratins with Fresh Herbs

serves 8
active time: 45 min

For the mushrooms

  1. 12 sprigs fresh Italian parsley – stems removed
  2. 8 sprigs thyme – leaves removed from stems
  3. 2 sprigs winter savory or rosemary – leaves removed from stems
  4. 2 large garlic cloves – skinned and finely chopped
  5. 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  6. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  7. 1 1/2 lbs (680gr) fresh shiitake mushrooms – stems trimmed and cut in 1/8” slices
  8. 2 large shallots – skinned, quartered and finely sliced
  9. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  10. fresh ground pepper to taste

For the gratins

  1. 1 1/2 cups milk
  2. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  3. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt to taste
  4. fresh ground pepper to taste
  5. 1 lb (455gr) medium Yukon gold potatoes – un-peeled, cut in 1/8” slices (use mandoline or blade attachment of food processor)
  6. 4 oz (113gr) coarsely grated cave-aged gruyère (1 1/2 cups)
  1. 8–1/2 cup capacity ramequins – lightly buttered

  1. Step 1: Place the herbs and the garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped. Alternatively, place the herbs and garlic on a cutting board and finely chop. Set aside.
  2. Step 2: Heat a large non-stick skillet to high heat. Add the butter and oil. As soon as the butter is melted, add the mushrooms. Toss well and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes until golden, stirring only occasionally (see Viviane’s Tip below). Add the shallots and continue to sauté for 2 minutes until shallots have softened. Add the herb/garlic mixture, salt and pepper and continue to sauté for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool slightly.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 375°F (180°C).
  4. Step 3: Whisk the milk, cream, salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside. Place a third of the potato slices at the bottom of each ramequin, enough to cover the surface. Top with half the mushrooms. Then top with a third of the potato slices. Top again with half the mushrooms and finish with the balance of the potato slices. Drizzle with the milk mixture. Sprinkle with the grated cheese. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve the gratins in their molds.
  5. Cook’s note 1: To make ahead – Although they’re best eaten the day they are made, the gratins can be baked for 40 minutes until just golden, then cooled and refrigerated up to 1 day. To serve, bring to room temperature and bake at 375°F (180°C) for 6 to 8 minutes until bubbling at the sides.
  6. Cook’s note 2: If you prefer to make a large gratin rather than individual ones, use a medium ceramic or glass baking dish. Layer the ingredients exactly as described above and bake at 375°F (180°C) for 45 to 50 minutes.

gratin, yukon gold potatoes, shiitake mushrooms

Roasted butternut squash with garlic and sage

Roasted Butternut Squash with Garlic and Sage

serves 8
active time: 30 min

  1. 2 medium butternut squash (4 lbs) (1.81kg) – peeled (use vegetable hand peeler), seeds scooped out and cut in 1/4″ thick x 3” long slices
  2. 32 large fresh sage leaves
  3. 16 large garlic cloves – unpeeled and left whole
  4. 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  5. freshly ground black pepper to taste
  6. 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  1. 2 large non-stick jellyroll pans

  1. Preheat oven to 450ºF (332ºC).
  2. Step 1: Place an equal amount of the butternut squash slices in the center of each pan. Sprinkle with the sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss well. Arrange slices in a singe layer, tucking the sage and garlic in between the slices, and bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Step 2: Remove from oven, carefully flip each slice so as not to break them. Return to oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden-brown at the edges. Remove garlic cloves and discard. Place the slices on a serving tray. Garnish with the sage leaves and serve immediately.
  4. Cook’s note: The squash can be sliced up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerated in Ziplock bags. Bake up to 6 hours ahead and reheat at 450ºF (332ºC) for 4 to 5 minutes until hot.

side vegetable, butternut squash, sage

Maple-glazed Brussels sprouts with chestnuts

Maple–Glazed Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts

serves 8
active time: 30 min

  1. 1 tablespoon sea salt for the blanching water
  2. 2 lbs (907gr) Brussels Sprouts – trimmed and cut in half
  3. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  4. 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  5. 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  6. 6 oz (170 gr) vacuum-packed whole roasted chestnuts
  7. 3 large shallots – skinned, quartered and finely sliced
  8. 3/4 to 1 teaspoon sea salt to taste
  9. freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Step 1: Fill a large bowl with cold water and several ice cubes.
  2. Step 2: Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the salt and blanch the Brussels sprouts for 3 1/2 to 4 minutes (depending on their size) until tender. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice water bath until cool. Drain on paper towels. Once dry, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Cook’s note: The Brussels sprouts can be blanched up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Step 3: Heat a extra large heavy-bottom skillet over high heat (alternatively, use 2 pans). Add the butter, olive oil and maple syrup, stir well. As soon as the butter is melted, add the Brussels sprouts and chestnuts and toss carefully with two wooden spoons (so as not to break the chestnuts) until the ingredients are well coated with the oil. Sauté for 6 to 7 minutes until golden-brown, tossing occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-high, add the shallots, salt and pepper and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes until shallots have softened. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.

Vacuum-packed whole roasted chestnuts

side dish, brussels sprouts, chestnuts

Cauliflower purée with parmesan and thyme

Cauliflower Purée with Parmesan and Thyme

serves 8
active time: 30 min

  1. 4 cups milk
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or to taste
  3. 1 large bunch fresh thyme – tied in a bundle with kitchen string
  4. 2 medium cauliflower (4 1/2 lbs) (2kg) – florets torn in 2” pieces
  5. freshly ground white pepper to taste
  6. 1/2 cup freshly grated Reggiano parmesan
  7. 2 tablespoons crème fraîche

  1. Step 1: Bring milk to a boil in a large pot. Add half the salt, cauliflower and thyme bundle. Reduce heat to medium and partially cover the pan so that the milk doesn’t boil over. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until cauliflower is very tender. Strain in a colander, reserve the milk and let stand for 10 minutes until well drained. Discard thyme bundle.
  2. Step 2: Place the cauliflower florets in the bowl of a food processor and process with a steel blade until coarsely chopped. Add the balance of the salt, pepper, parmesan and 1/4 cup of the reserved milk. Process for another 30 seconds until very smooth. Add a bit more reserved milk to the desired consistency, if needed.
  3. Cook’s note: The purée can be prepared to this point up to 1 day ahead. Transfer the purée to a bowl, let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Step 3: When ready to serve, place the purée in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until very warm, stirring frequently. Add the crème fraîche and stir until well incorporated. Transfer the purée to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

side vegetable, cauliflower, puree

Cranberry-fig chutney

Cranberry-fig Chutney

makes 3 cups
active time: 25 min

For the figs

  1. 4 oz (113gr) dried California or Turkish figs (8 medium) – cut in 1/4” pieces
  2. 2 tablespoons Cointreau (Grand Marnier and Kirsch are good substitutes)
  3. 2 tablespoons orange juice

For the chutney

  1. 1 1/4 cups apple or grape juice
  2. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  3. 1/2 cup organic sugar
  4. 2 cinnamon sticks
  5. 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (use microplane grater)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  7. 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes to taste
  8. 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  9. 12 oz (340gr) fresh cranberries

  1. Step 1: Place the figs, Cointreau and orange juice in a shallow bowl. Stir well and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  2. Step 2: Meanwhile, heat a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Add the apple juice, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, ginger, cardamom, chili pepper flakes, and salt. Bring to a boil. Once the sugar has disolved, reduce heat to medium-high and add the cranberries. Stir well and fast-simmer for 6 to 7 minutes until the cranberries have fallen apart and the juices thickened. With a wooden spoon, crush the cranberries on the side of the pan until mixture is chunky. Turn off the heat, add the fig mixture and stir. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature. Discard cinnamon sticks and serve.
  3. Cook’s note: Refrigerate up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

chutney, figs, cranberries

Apple-Pear Crisp with Macadamia Crumb – Calvados Chantilly

serves 8
active time: 30 min

For the crumb topping

  1. 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  2. 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
  3. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  4. 4 oz (113gr) (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter – cold
  5. 2/3 cup roasted, unsalted macadamia nuts (or blanched almonds)

For the fruits

  1. 6 medium firm-fleshed apples (Gala, Braeburn, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Macoun…) – peeled, cored and cut in 1/4” slices
  2. 4 ripe bartlet pears – peeled, cored and cut in 1/2” pieces
  3. 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (use microplane grater)
  4. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  5. 1 tablespoon Calvados or apple brandy
  6. 1/2 cup organic sugar

For the Calvados Chantilly

  1. 1 cup heavy cream – well chilled
  2. 2 tablespoons Calvados
  3. 2 tablespoons organic sugar
  1. 1 – 13x10x3” ceramic baking dish – lightly buttered

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (180°C).
  2. Step 1: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Process at high speed for 15 seconds until well blended. Add the chunks of butter and macadamia and process until coarse crumbs form. Do not over-process or the crumbs will come together and form a dough. Let stand until ready to use.
  3. Step 2: Place the apple and pear slices in a large bowl and sprinkle with the lemon zest, lemon juice, calvados and sugar. Toss well.
  4. Step 3: Place the apple-pear mixture into the prepared mold. Sprinkle with the crisp topping. Bake for 50 to 55 minute, until topping is golden brown and the fruits are bubbly. Remove from the oven and let cool until warm.
  5. Step 4: In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream, Calvados and sugar and medium speed until the cream begins to thicken. Do not overbeat or the cream may turn to butter. Transfer to a Tupperware and refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. Cook’s note 1: Refrigerate the Chantilly up to 1 day.
  7. Step 5: To serve, spoon into desert bowl. Top with a dollop of the Calvados Chantilly and serve immediately.
  8. Cook’s note: The crisp can be made up to 6 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. Re-heat at 375°F (180°C) for 5 to 7 minutes until just warm and serve as above. The crisp is best consumed the day it is made.

dessert, crisp, apples
© 2011 Viviane Bauquet Farre Food & Style NY LLC


  • Reply Dana Treat November 11, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Oh this post just makes me want to sob. What a gorgeous and perfect meal this is. I will be hosting our Thanksgiving feast for the foreseeable future – the baton was passed to me last year by my mom. There is no way I can get out of making a turkey or all the dishes that everyone expects (stuffing, etc). Maybe I can make all the food for our group and then eat at your house! :) Thank you for all the incredible recipes.

  • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre November 11, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Dana! Oh you broke my heart… I so wish you could eat with us! That would be quite a treat, A “Dana Treat”!!!

    And you make me feel incredibly grateful for my family AND my husband’s family. For the last several years I have been the one hosting all the holiday meals, including Thanksgiving. I’ve never made turkey, but rather a version of the meal on this post. It’s always a long, jovial, multi-course meal that last for hours. I am the only vegetarian in the crowd and no one has ever missed the turkey (not even my nieces!) or complained about it.

    So, yes, I am very grateful… and looking forward to preparing the next feast – only two weeks away!

  • Reply Sara November 11, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Wow! What an informative and full post. I am quite impressed and glad I saw it. The gratins look beautiful.

  • Reply Ashley November 11, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Oh. my. goodness. This is what I dream a thanksgiving table would look like. Sounds perfect. Beautiful food to celebrate this season of thanks.
    Thank you.

  • Reply melissa (CNY Dessert Muse) November 12, 2009 at 11:31 am

    The featured items sound delicious! I can’t wait to bring some of them to my family’s Thanksgiving.

  • Reply Brie November 12, 2009 at 11:33 am

    wow, extremely impressive and well thought out. the day by day game plan is very helpful, and the food all looks perfectly delicious. what a wonderful Thanksgiving feast!

  • Reply Tara November 12, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Thank you! This is awesome…I love Bonny Doon wine!

  • Reply Rose November 12, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Looks like a wonderful Thanksgiving!! Love the pairing with Bonny Doon wines DELISH!

  • Reply Vegetable Matter November 12, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    You are amazing. This sounds like the perfect vegetarian Thanksgiving, and you’re so organized it’s ridiculous. We haven’t even figured out tonight’s dinner. Serious foodie props to you. Wish we could come over to your house for Thanksgiving dinner!

  • Reply Donna Ford November 12, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Viviane, your vegetarian Thanksgiving is amazing. I bought a huge bag of spinach at costco so I want to try your Baby Spinach Salad. Congratulations, you’ve done so much work and it’s appreciated!!!!

  • Reply Jessie November 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    talk about fancy and delish! everything looks wonderful, I am not a vegetarian but I would definitely eat everything here.

  • Reply Shelly Huang November 12, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    I am simply speechless! You can totally debunk the myth that Thanksgiving is incomplete without a Turkey. You won’t even need a Tofurkey!

    The ingredient pairings you use are elegant and inspired, your plan-ahead tips would help even the most disorganized, and the pictures are so mouthwatering I want to have that Thanksgiving meal now!

    Thanks, I will definitely be using some of these as inspiration for my own Thanksgiving meal!

    By the way, I created a Poached Pears w/ Yogurt & Granola the other day – linked back to your site because that was where I got the inspiration – from your poached pear sundae!

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre November 12, 2009 at 6:38 pm

      Shelly! Thank you so much for your comment. You know… the harvest season is so abundant, I like to focus on the wonderful veggies and let them inspire the menu. It’s not hard… they do all the work… :)

      Thank you also for the mention of my Maple-Poached Pears in your blog. You are so, so kind! I am very happy they inspired such a lovely recipe…

      And I want to thank everyone else for their fabulous comments! You just all warm my heart and I’m thrilled that you love the menu… Thank you!!!

  • Reply Simply Life November 12, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Oh my, this meal sounds absolutely amazing! I love your photos as well!

  • Reply penny aka jeroxie November 12, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Beautiful meal and everything so exquiste! My favourite – Spicy Beet–Green Crostini. YUM!

  • Reply wasabi prime November 12, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    This is simply outstanding. I’m just… outstandified by this post! I’m not vegetarian, but I do love meatless recipes that really take the ingredient and use it with respect. I know some people are die hard turkey eaters for this holiday, but this meal is so elegant, I’d happily give up turkey for this.

  • Reply Chef Kokopelli November 12, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    ABSOLUTELY AWESOME! I’ve been a vegetarian since 1976 – actually the only one in my family. Thanksgiving has never been one of my favorite days due to the turkey cooking odors drifting throughout the home.

  • Reply Debi November 13, 2009 at 6:45 am

    Not only have you provided a spectacular menu here, your tips, plan ahead guide, and mouthwatering photos have supplied enough inspiration to carry it through in its entirety—well done!!

  • Reply Audax Artifex November 13, 2009 at 9:26 am

    WOWOWOWOWOW what an effort and a fabulous menu so many photos and so many recipes and all vegetarian. Well done superb job on this. You are one great chef. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

  • Reply lisaiscooking November 13, 2009 at 10:20 am

    What an incredible feast! Everything looks perfectly lovely and delicious.

  • Reply Claudia November 13, 2009 at 11:16 am

    I am not a vegetarian but will try these – amazing array of delicious dinners.

  • Reply Tasty Trix November 13, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Beautiful! It’s SO nice to see a Thanksgiving post without turkey.

  • Reply Elaine November 13, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    This is so beautiful. Our Canadian Thanksgiving is past (was October 12th) but I want to make at least 3 of these courses/recipes for next year. (I realize duplicating the entire feast is way beyond my abilities.)

    In my work as a dietitian, I often work with people who have swallowing problems (dysphagia). May I share the Cauliflower Purée recipe with them? So often people equate pureed with unpalatable but you prove how delicious and appetizing this texture can be.

    Thank you for creating the most beautiful food post I have read this year. And so helpful too.

  • Reply VeganGuy November 13, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    wow, what a great plan. bet you’ll have an amazing Thanksgiving!

  • Reply ValleyWriter November 13, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Wow! Everything looks amazing! And not a tofurky in sight – bravo!

  • Reply Sanjana November 14, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Wow, this is such a beautiful menu. We don’t have thanksgiving over here in the UK but I would still definetly love to try these dishes. Gorgeous pictures!

  • Reply Joanne November 15, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    I’m not cooking for Thanksgiving but I love this for my Christmas presentation. I think with that menu and simply adding a turkey, I’ll be able to please everyone while secretly cooking mainly for ME!!!!

  • Reply Janet November 16, 2009 at 10:29 am

    That is the perfect feast! I want to eat at your house!

  • Reply The Chickenless Chick November 16, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing all this information in such detail. I’m sure it relieves worlds of stress to have such an intricate game plan! And all your recipes look so delicious.

  • Reply georgie November 18, 2009 at 8:42 am


    I am inspired!!! I can see the joy you are taking in planning this feast, and I’m sure its only going to multiply when you get to create, serve, and relish it!

    As Thanksgiving is a small affair at my place, only my husband and I, it can be hard to gather some enthusiasm – but I am going to try some news things this year. I like the cauliflower puree with the herbs to infuse (I never added herbs to mine!) and the brussels sprouts with some added sweetness of maple. I also think the fig addition to cranberry sauce is brilliant!

    Thanks for the wonderful post!!!

    Georgie Fear

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre November 18, 2009 at 9:21 am


      Thank you so much for your wonderful words! I wish you and your husband a fabulous thanksgiving… Our New Years Eve dinner is usually just my husband and I, and I always make a feast for it too (albeit a smaller one!!!)… So I hope you enjoy every minute of preparing your Thanksgiving meal… Even for two it’s exciting!

      This year, I’ll be making a whole new menu and testing new recipes… Hopefully I’ll be able to publish them all next next! I can’t wait…

  • Reply Tokyo Terrace November 19, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Wow! What a fabulous menu! I love that you included a “game plan”. That is definitely the key to making Thanksgiving prep-vegetarian or otherwise-a breeze. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful ideas! I love the first photo-so elegant and beautiful!

  • Reply artripp November 21, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    This is awesome! Thanks for this post. I’m planning a vegetarian Thanksgiving fete myself. My menu won’t be as elaborate–I’m thinking a savory pie, mashed sweet potatoes, sauteed garlicky greens, cornbread stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce with orange zest and juice, as well as a pumpkin pie with chocolate and hazelnuts. Can’t wait! I love your game plan! Super useful!

  • Reply Waiquan & Eli Hardof November 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    We’re going to have about 30 people in my little house for Thanksgiving. We supply the wines and the turkey and our guests are each assigned a dish to make. I’m going to assign several of your recipes and can’t wait to enjoy them on Thursday! Vivianne you are the best!

  • Reply Steven Vincent December 17, 2009 at 9:54 am

    A friend urged me to read this site, great post, fascinating read… keep up the good work!

  • Reply Sarah January 2, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    I’m book marking this entire meal for next year, but we did try the spinach salad and could eat it everyday! Thanks so much for posting for the vegetarians! -Sarah, Park Slope Kitchen

  • Reply Erica January 21, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Like everyone else, I am in awe of this menu and the detailed plan. Thank you! Question: My partner and I do not like mushrooms. Can you recommend a substitute/variation on the Individual Gratins with Shiitake Mushrooms and Yukon Gold Potatoes dish?

  • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre January 23, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Hi Erica,
    How about making caramelized sweet onions instead of the mushrooms? You can sauté 3lbs of thinly sliced red or Vidalia onions until golden brown, then add the garlic, herbs, salt and pepper and continue to sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. You can proceed with the recipe as above.
    If you try this, do stop by again and let me know how it turns out… In fact I think I will do this version myself very soon!
    Thank you so much for your comment :)

  • Reply kathy April 4, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    For sure every thanksgiving meal you have will be a savory one :-)

  • Reply Elizabeth Gaeta I gave you the 365 Balsamic vinegar and my nephew is the one who knows where the secret patch of organic watercress is! November 21, 2010 at 12:38 pm


    Your recipes are wonderful, your website is beautiful, and having been to your home and enjoyed your classes, your sense of style is extraordinary. When will you write your cookbook?

    Thank you so much for the pleasure you bring to us.

    • Reply Viviane November 21, 2010 at 4:02 pm

      Elizabeth! Thank you so much for your kind words and for stopping by. I am so very touched! I am very glad you enjoyed the new site. It’s been a work of love – lots of both! I am hoping to start working on a cookbook in 2011. If it happens, it will be the realization of a life-long dream.

      Thank you again for the gift of the balsamic. You have no idea how often I think of you and your generosity! Wishing you and your family a beautiful and delicious Thanksgiving…

  • Reply torviewtoronto November 22, 2010 at 10:43 am

    lovely pictures delicious

  • Reply Angela FRS November 22, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Wow. Just gorgeous.

  • Reply Cristina - Teenie Cakes November 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    What a gorgeous and impressive menu and post of some beautiful dishes. You are so organized and gifted. I’m especially fond of the Endive Boats with Fresh Ricotta and Roasted Beets and Apple-Pear Crisp with Macadamia Crumb you’ve featured. My goodness…you’ve absolutely put me to shame and something to aspire to.

    Have a lovely holiday!

  • Reply Jenny Nguyen November 24, 2010 at 4:03 am

    wow viviane, this is something else. I love how organised you are…i thought I was organised but you have put me well and truly to shame :)

    I am actually having my very first thanksgiving with some friends of mine from nth america…we’re all pitching in and making a few dishes each so it will be great, i’m sure

    • Reply Viviane November 24, 2010 at 9:58 am

      Jenny! You are so great… And I bet you’re more organized than you think. I wish you and your friend a beautiful and delicious Thanksgiving… All the way in Amsterdam…

  • Reply Quay Po Cooks November 24, 2010 at 11:10 am

    A well thought Thanksgiving menu… amazing dishes, fabulous photos and a great post! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  • Reply Anne Cowan November 24, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Dear Viviane,

    I do so wish I lived near you!!! Your menu, which I found from Marc’s facebook post is simply mouth watering. I wish the people I have coming for dinner tomorrow would be more adventurous. …and they are NOT my family!!! My family loves to eat anything that is out of the ordinary that I cook…but alas, they are not going to be in town this Thanksgiving.

    Hope you have a wonderful day. Enjoy your wonderful meal.


  • Reply Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking November 24, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    This is exactly what I need! I’m making my first Thanksgiving dinner and I need some instructions. Last year I celebrated with my boyfriend who’s from New York, so he was in charge of the great American feast. But this year, it’s just me. And I’m Swedish. So, a little guidance was more than welcome. Merci Beaucoup

  • Reply Ruth November 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    This is an inspired menu – and beautiful photos too! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Donna Ford November 18, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I love reading your stories Viviane. Everytime you talk about the local farmers markets I think how lucky you are. Enjoy them! Great recipes, so many to pick from. Thank you!

    • Reply Viviane November 19, 2011 at 11:19 am

      Thank you so much Donna! I do feel so very lucky that we have such great farmers’ markets in our county… I hope one day you’ll have one near you too. Wishing you and Rich a beautiful and delicious holiday!

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