With Thanksgiving coming soon, I’ve looked at recipes that can be made ahead and keep well. The jellos, cranberries, and some desserts can be made two days ahead. Even the stuffing, if made outside of the turkey, can be made two days before and heated in the microwave. Salads, to retain their freshness, are a bigger challenge. I found three that do well.
Joe Carcione’s Stuffed Iceberg:
1/4 th cup grated carrot, 3 tbsp. sour cream, 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. salt, 3 tbsp. minced fresh tomato, 3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, 1 tbsp. minced green pepper, 1 tbsp. minced green onion, 1 tbsp minced celery, 2 tsp. minced parsley, 1 large head of iceberg lettuce, 1/2 cup pomegranate berries.
Blend cream cheese, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and salt. Add minced veggies. Hollow out the core and center of the lettuce. Stuff with carrot filling. Wrap lettuce in foil. Chill over night. At dinner time, slice crosswise and serve on a pretty plate with a sprinkling of pomegranate berries. Serves six.
Tomato Green Bean Salad.
1 lb fresh green beans, halved. 3 medium tomatoes cut into chunks. 1/3 cup basil olive oil. Salt to taste. 1 tbsp. minced fresh garlic.
Cook green beans for six minutes in boiling water, drain and rinse to cool in cold tap water. Dress with half the basil olive oil. Dress the cut tomatoes with other half of the basil olive oil, or to taste. Lightly salt both. Cover and refrigerate. Just before dinner, arrange green beans and tomatoes together on a plate, sprinkle with minced fresh garlic and serve. If there are basil leaves left in the garden, cut a few slices with a scissors to garnish. Serves six, generously.
I like both of these salads because they don’t take up much room in the refrigerator like a huge green salad does. The beans can conveniently be marinated in a plastic bag in the crisper and kept off the shelves.
Red Apple & Cabbage Slaw.
1/2 large red cabbage, sliced medium fine. (Food processor does this well.) 1/2 medium yellow onion, minced. 1 stalk celery finely sliced. 1/4 cup cider or red wine vinegar. 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/3 tsp salt, 1/2 cup plain or walnut flavored olive oil, 3 crisp red skinned apples, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.
Make dressing with oil, vinegar and seasonings. Pour over cabbage, onion, and celery and cover in the refrigerator the day before. Before dinner, core and dice the red apples. Add them and the chopped nuts to the bowl before serving.
One of these can help spread the preparation time over several days since food is central to our American Thanksgiving celebration.