Bites: Last minute ideas for Thanksgiving dinner

It’s time for roasted radishes to have their moment.

thanksgiving dinner prep
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There are only so many days out of the year when I can stop thinking about restaurants (have you scrolled through the 50 Best Restaurants of the year yet?) and start rummaging through my massive, underused collection of cookbooks.

If you’re still planning, here are some ideas and inspiration for Thanksgiving dinner and the rest of the holiday season.

If you like recipes out of a trusted book, and you have time to run to the store, pick up: Deborah Madison’s In My Kitchen. I’m making her steamed-then-griddled sweet potatoes topped with a miso-ginger sauce. You will treasure Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden all year long. I’m turning to his roasted radishes with vinegar and honey. From The Short Stack Cookbook by Nick Fauchald and Kaitlyn Goalen, with whole chapters dedicated to one ingredient, I’m experimenting with a steam-roasting technique for Brussels sprouts. This past weekend for a Friendsgiving, I turned to Kim O’Donnel’s Meatless Celebrationsfor sweet potatoes (using my new Japanese mandolin from La Cuisine) dressed in a kale-walnut pesto. And I made a batch of harissa from David Tanis’ latest book Market Cooking, which I expect to put on everything, for all time.

If you need a comprehensive guide, The New York Times developed a brilliant all-day timetable to keeping the oven at 400 degrees and managing to cook everything from a turkey to an apple gingersnap crumble (with also breaking for lunch).

If it’s your first Thanksgiving, or if you just want a simplified menu, The Washington Post pulled together not only recipes but also tips such as how to delegate responsibilities and skip cocktails for the ease of beer and wine.

If you want a little more control over the menu, but still need guidance, Food52’s menu genie is a fun way to build dinner. There are prompts for each category (greens, orange sides, potatoes, appetizers) and plenty of variation within (gluten free, vegetarian, smaller crowd).

Otherwise, I’m obsessed with the look of hasselback butternut squash, whole roasted cauliflower and individual cinnamon-apple tarts.

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy cooking, eating and not talking politics.