Dinner Tonight

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Dinner Tonight: Thanksgiving Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

If Thanksgiving can be recreated completely in pie form, can't the holiday's many familiar flavors be translated into a satisfying salad? This is not exactly a completely original idea, but I really wanted to get the homey aspect of Thanksgiving right in this.

First, let's start with the turkey. Gotta have it. No other meat would do. The easy way to do this recipe is to just use leftovers from the actual Thanksgiving meal, otherwise you're going to have to skip with the whole bird and use pieces. I went with turkey thighs, which turned out to be a good choice. They are smaller than turkey breasts, and bring a lot more flavor to the finished dish. Moving on.

For the vegetables, I wanted to incorporate sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts. Instead of cooking each separately, I decided to roast both in the same pan. Luckily, if you cut the sweet potatoes into small enough cubes, they finish cooking at roughly the same time. You do need to use a hot oven, but the results can be completed in 30 minutes, which is rather impressive.

Though filling, I still needed a base for the salad. I knew the roasted veg would walk all over a flimsy pile of lettuce, but what else could I do? That's when my wife suggested couscous. This also allowed me to incorporate dried cranberries into the dish—another familiar part of the feast. The only other component that was much appreciated was a whole lot of butter. It's just not the same without it.

The dish has that comfort element that you want from Thanksgiving, plus it can be completed in less than an hour. That's not a bad deal at all.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is the editor of Serious Eats: Chicago. He loves tacos and spicy food. You can follow him as @nickdk on Twitter.

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