If the variety of food on Team Salt & Wind tables is any indicator, there is no one Thanksgiving menu.
We believe Thanksgiving should reflect your family’s traditions, flavors, and foods, even if that means making mole instead of gravy!
Since we’re all about California, Hawaii, France, Italy, and Mexico, it’s probably no surprise that our Thanksgiving recipes reflect those very places. We figured it high time we give you a look, so here they are–the recipes we pull out for all our autumn entertaining, from harvest dinner parties to Thanksgiving!
Come fall, we cannot get enough of the pears from our favorite fruit farm in Northern California. To us, pears do not get nearly enough love during harvest time, but this cocktail makes up for it. By reducing pear cider to a syrup over a few hours, you have a cocktail with the most deliciously intense pear flavor.
Speaking of cider, this apple cider drink is not too sweet, not too boozy, and all-around a perfect pick if you need to make something for a crowd.
Inspired by the scent of wild sage that wafts through the air in our home state of California, this simple twist on the classic Bee’s Knees Cocktail is our choice if you have just a few guests and can make drinks to order. You cannot use the wild sage in this cocktail as it’s not edible, so it’s merely inspiration!
It is a cocktail so simple you can have your guests make their own. This twist on the classic cocktail with spices and smashed persimmons is as comfy as a real-deal drink as an Old Fashioned gets.
This oh-so-healthy dip is light but a flavorful way to start the holiday meal, a little sweet, a bit earthy, and loaded with herbs. Oh, and did we mention that it’s vegan, gluten, nut, and dairy-free?
Another squash appetizer that’s always a winner? This squash “danish” is made with thyme-scented caramelized onions. The best part is that you can bake these a day ahead and warm them up in a low oven before serving.
We’d like to enter this as an applicant for the simplest but most delicious appetizer of all time. With just a few ingredients and everything but the assembly can be done ahead and flavorful but not too heavy, it’s the Goldilocks of appetizers!
Say hello to the curveball of apps. This looks like a standard hummus, but the addition of the harissa and honey gives it a spicy kick that we find crave-worthy!
We say “caviar,” and you’re probably all, “huh?” because there aren’t any actual caviar in this recipe. Instead, the name hails from the fact that roasted beets get pureed, so they’re slightly textured.
Bring your appetizer “A game” with these blue cheese and pear bites! Inspired by the flavor of one of our all-time favorite Italian risottos–pear, gorgonzola, and walnut!–these appetizers are tiny but packed with flavor!
This is an appetizer we serve more at December cocktail parties than any other time, but it’s been creeping into our other fall holiday celebrations lately. The classic combo of cranberries and brie get paired with pears and spiced honey for an appetizer that’s a perfect pairing with bubbly wine!
If you have a bunch of dietary restrictions to deal with, this is the recipe for you. This salad is dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegetarian–and take out the almonds to make it nut-free!
Inspired by the abundance of produce at the open-air markets in Bologna, Italy, this fresh, crunchy, simple salad of celery, walnuts, and Parmigiano-Reggiano is a favorite around here! It’s a classic Italian salad made during the colder months, and the zingy vinegar flavor is a perfect balance to all the heavier Thanksgiving flavors.
If there’s ever a time to pull out the mandolin, this shaved root vegetable salad is it. The veggies are sliced paper-thin then tossed with goat cheese, hazelnuts, and, of course, avocado because we Californians basically can’t eat a meal without it!
It’s easy to go overboard during the holidays. To make too much food with too many flavors, and then it all gets to be just too much. That’s why we always try to work in a side dish that’s just so straightforward it can mix and match with pretty much anything like these roasted beets.
Have you picked up on the constant? That around here, we tend to do Thanksgiving a little lighter and fresher? It’s our California roots if you ask us! And that’s why we make our brussels sprouts more like slaw and add in some crunchy pepitas and sweet dates for a CalMed take on Brussels!
How to do Thanksgiving when you’re fewer? A turkey breast! We add a definitively California twist–read: lots of herbs and citrus–to make this dish anything but boring!
Mashed potatoes may be an American Thanksgiving essential, but our favorite spuds of all time are the traditional French way with lots of butter. The secret? There is lots of butter, but the potatoes are also passed through a food mill to make them extra smooth and airy!
Our founder, Aida, often spends Thanksgiving in Hawaii, and this recipe is a direct inspiration from her time there! Like the chorizo of Hawaii, Portuguese sausage is a fresh or smoked sweet-spicy sausage used in breakfast dishes, plate lunches, and at many tailgates. This recipe combines Portuguese sausage with other local flavors — sweet onion and sweet bread – for a Hawaiian slant on classic Thanksgiving stuffing.
If a Mexican salsa met cranberry sauce, we think the result would be akin to this relish made with simmered wine, spices, orange juice, red onion, and jalapenos!
Using ricotta in desserts is classically Italian. Adding it to Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Bars most definitely is not. But the result is a light, airy, tangy twist on classic Pumpkin Pie.
Yes, we like using cranberries and pears this time of year. And we want them even better together!
Okay, yes, we also have a thing for bite-sized desserts. Our rationale is bite-sized means you get to taste more, almost like the tapas of desserts!