Friendsgiving is a spin-off of the traditional Thanksgiving holiday that focuses on sharing the beloved traditions and recipes among friends, with themes ranging from elegant dinner party to laid-back potluck. Friendsgiving is a great opportunity for creating lasting memories and new traditions with friends that are more like family.
Whether you are hosting this year or bringing a dish to share, featuring plenty of fruits and vegetables is a great way to celebrate the season’s harvest and infuse color, flavor and texture into the menu. Aim to prioritize produce in all your scrumptious sides, mouthwatering mains, and delectable desserts at your Friendsgiving table.
For side-dishes and starters, feature a variety of seasonal produce like Brussels sprouts, winter squash, pumpkin, kale, beets, pomegranate, and sweet potatoes. For an easy side, roast halved Brussels sprouts with olive oil, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar and top with dried cranberries and pecans for a pop of color and added crunch. If the gathering takes place after the traditional feast, use leftovers in to serve up a salad starter. Using baby kale as the base of your salad, top with leftover roasted vegetables, carved roast turkey and turn leftover stuffing into herby croutons. To put the salad it over the top, finish with pomegranate arils and a sweet and tangy cranberry vinaigrette.
Try switching things up by forgoing the traditional roast turkey for your main dish and instead serve up individual stuffed acorn squashes. One of the delicacies of the season, winter squash is rich in nutrients, flavor and offers a creamy texture. Acorn squash can be roasted and filled with a variety of different flavorful fillings. Start by halving squash and removing seeds, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in a 400°F oven for 35-40 minutes until tender. Then fill with whatever sounds right.
Try some of the following festive combinations for inspiration:
- Apple, spinach and sausage
- Farro, leek and mushroom
- Cranberry pecan & turkey
- Pear, sage and ground pork
For dessert, aim to incorporate natural sweetness from apples and pears paired with warm spices like cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg and rich flavors like bourbon and maple or try a creative take on classic Thanksgiving flavors like pumpkin. For an elegant dessert, try poached pears topped with a rich port sauce, or this decadent Orange-Infused Pumpkin Cheesecake featuring natural sweetness from dates. For your casual Friendsgiving dessert, bring Apple and Oat Crumble.