True Harvest: A Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu

A vegetarian chef explores the tradition of the meat-free Thanksgiving

In the story True Harvest in Issue #142, vegetarian chef Linda Monastra explores the tradition of the meat-free Thanksgiving recipes, and hosts her first completely meatless meal. Though planning a menu that embodied Thanksgiving's ideals of sharing and gratitude without the holiday bird that symbolises it all was a challenge, the resulting menu was a resounding success: "...We sat down at the table laden with dish upon meat-free dish. The buzz of conversation lapsed into satisfied murmurs as our guests tucked into their food. I watched my crowd dig happily into all of the Thanksgiving recipes—the vegetable patties and the cranberry chutney, the tempeh and the pilaf and the gratin, and felt the warmth of the occasion. Even without the bird, the meal was complete." For this menu it's beer, not wine, that will pair best with each course. It cuts through all the spices, and it, too, has historical significance: The Pilgrims carried ale with them from England and made the decision to land at Plymouth Rock due to "our victuals being much spent, especially our beer," as one Mayflower diary noted. For pairing notes with these Thanksgiving recipes, see Party Like the Pilgrims.

Honey and Herb Biscuits

Honey and Herb Biscuits
Instead of plain dinner rolls, we like to serve these fluffy biscuits, fragrant with rosemary and thyme.Todd Coleman

Winter Squash and Apple Soup

Winter Squash and Apple Soup
A garnish of fried mushrooms and a drizzle of spiced mint butter adds elegance to a simple pureed vegetable soup. Get the recipe for Winter Squash and Apple Soup »Todd Coleman

Peas with Orange and Mint

Peas with Orange and Mint
Fresh orange juice and plenty of mint enliven ordinary frozen peas. Get the recipe for Peas with Orange and Mint »Todd Coleman

Potato and Rutabaga Gratin

Potato and Rutabaga Gratin
Earthy rutabagas and aged Gruyere add intrigue to a classic potato gratin. Get the recipe for Potato and Rutabaga Gratin »Todd Coleman

Spiced Wheat Berry Pilaf

Wheat Berry Pilaf
Eastern spices like cumin and cardamom bring bright notes to this earthy, pleasantly chewy pilaf. Get the recipe for Spiced Wheat Berry Pilaf »Todd Coleman

Cranberry Ginger Chutney

Cranberry Ginger Chutney
This sophisticated take on cranberry sauce, laced with spices and plenty of fresh ginger, gets a boost from chopped celery and tart apples. Get the recipe for Cranberry Ginger Chutney »Todd Coleman

Apple Cider-Cinnamon Ice Cream

Apple Cider-Cinnamon Ice Cream
A spiced, autumnal ice cream that tastes like the essence of apple season. Get the recipe for Apple Cider-Cinnamon Ice Cream »Penny De Los Santos
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap and Hazelnut Crust

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap and Hazelnut Crust

The dessert's delicate texture is achieved by cooking the cheesecake in a bain-marie, a water bath made by surrounding the springform pan with boiling water. Both the desserts need to be made at least a day before serving, and the ice cream can be made up to a week before serving.To save yourself more time on Thanksgiving day, you can also make the soup and the chutney up to two days ahead. Get the recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap and Hazelnut Crust »Todd Coleman