Yummy in your tummy!

Kelly Rossiter

It can be a bit tricky to get all of the components of your Thanksgiving dinner ready for the table at the same time. You may be serving more dishes than you would at a regular dinner party, with a bit more juggling of time and appliance space. Many of us have had that moment of panic when a friend or family member brings their contribution to dinner and lets you know at the last possible moment that their dish requires an hour of oven time and there is no room because of the turkey, or they need space on the stove top that you just don't have. Oh, and they need a clean pot to cook it in as well.

Take some of the stress out of the situation by cooking a vegetable side dish earlier in the day and serving it at room temperature. This kale dish takes about 15 minutes to do in total, and you can make as much or as little of it as you like and then just set it aside until you are ready to serve dinner. I made this from ingredients in my pantry when I invited my son and his girlfriend for a last minute lunch, and it turned out to be quite delicious. The earthiness of the garlic and kale against the salty capers, the slightly sweet, slightly tart dried cranberries and the crunch of seeds was a really good combination. Not only that, the dark green leafy kale is a healthy counterpoint to the richness of the food we usually eat at Thanksgiving. An added bonus is the fact that kale is quite cheap to buy (well, mine was from my garden) and it goes a long way. It's also vegetarian and vegan for any of your guests who don't eat meat.

Cranberries are definitely part of the Thanksgiving harvest dinner, but you could substitute dried cherries if you like, or even raisins. I used sunflower seeds because that is what I had on hand, but pumpkin seeds, walnuts or even chestnuts would be delicious too. This is really more guideline than recipe, so feel free to play with the proportions according to your own taste.