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Top Five Thanksgiving Sides

The modern Thanksgiving table thankfully sports less marshmallow topped, carb-loaded side dishes these days. Fresh and simple sides are the updated version of the holiday.

If you are looking for a few new options to take the stress out of cooking the whole meal yourself and want to perk up your menu, why not let these local chefs cross an item or two off your to-do list. Place your order early, then simply pick up (and heat up) some of these amazing side dishes. Plan ahead most orders must be placed this week!

Mini Pumpkins filled with Sweet Potato – $5 per portion.

Louise Lamensdorf has been serving up exceptional custom catered cuisine for decades. When her beloved Bistro Louise restaurant closed, she continued with Bistro Louise Catering, and has not slowed down since. Her desserts are well-known show-stoppers, but many of her side dishes are works of art as well, like this glistening example. Mini pumpkins are cored and carved making the perfect bowl for sweet potato puree garnished with toasted pecans.

Green Beans Almondine – $6 serves 4-6

Lettuce Cook opened this year on White Settlement Road and now caters to the grab and go needs of the neighborhood. Executive Chef Todd Brown is always cooking up something new, and devotes his energy to fresh, locally sourced, seasonal dishes. He will be stocked with side dishes to fill in any gaps on your Thanksgiving table, like these simple and fresh green beans topped with eye-catching sliced almonds and roasted beets. The cold-case selection varies so call ahead to place orders.

Poached Pears in Red Wine Sauce – $10 for one which serves 2-3

Here is an elegant alternative to fruit salad. Chef Katie Schma of Local Foods Kitchen peels and poaches seasonal pears in red wine. When you slice them for presentation they explode with color on the plate. The pears come with all the accoutrements to make them jump off any Thanksgiving platter. Simply drizzle with Dijon dressing lightly over each pear and serve them with pecans, dried cherries and blue cheese for a stunning side dish. Viola!

Spicy Asian-Glazed Broccolini – $12 for 4 portions.

Ditch the Disco-era Broccoli Casserole Surprise…and go for the freshness of this Spicy Asian-Glazed Broccolini instead. Personal Chef Callie Salls of Meyer and Sage prepared this side dish of delicately blanched organic broccolini glazed in a sesame, gluten free tamari and hoisin sauce. The dish is finished with shiso and sesame. It’s ready to roast off to crispy and tender deliciousness.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Cranberries – $25 serves 8

This oven-ready side dish comes from Katherine Sasser’s new Hurley House on Bryant Irvin. Brussels have become a mandatory Thanksgiving side dish in recent years. Even my kids can’t get enough of them, and the more charred the better. That caramelized color and slightly bitter back note is simply heaven paired with sweet and tangy dried cranberries and the salty richness of bacon. Why braise when you can buy? Place orders by November 16.

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