Turkey, lemony beans, sweet-and sour-carrots: Yotam Ottolenghi’s Thanksgiving recipes | Food (2024)

Yotam Ottolenghi recipes

You don’t have to be based in the US to enjoy these offbeat festive recipes

Yotam Ottolenghi

Sat 23 Nov 2019 04.31 EST

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There’s a careful order to the Thanksgiving celebration: a turkey centrepiece plus all the trimmings, a pie (pumpkin, pecan or otherwise), good company, cheer and, above all, thanks – lots of it.

In these erratic times, in particular, I find the latter so important. You can – and, indeed, should – debate what to put on the table, whether to break from tradition or stay within its cozy confines, but for so many of us, fortunate to be sitting with loved ones over a plentiful meal, there is a very good reason to take a moment to acknowledge our fortune and count our blessings.

Roast turkey with ancho chilli gravy (pictured above)

This turkey, dark and intense from its chilli paste, makes a dramatic Thanksgiving focal point. You can make the paste up to three days in advance and keep in a sealed container in the fridge. This goes really well with the charred braised beans and roast carrots.

Prep 15 min
Cook 3 hr 15 min
Serves 8

40g ancho chillies (ie, about 2 or 3), stems removed
2 red chillies, roughly chopped
3 onions, peeled, 1 roughly chopped, the others cut into 4 wedges each
10 garlic cloves, peeled
1½ tbsp ground cumin
1½ tbsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp tomato paste
120ml olive oil
Salt and black pepper
6-7kg whole turkey

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Put the anchos in a medium heatproof bowl and add boiling water to cover. Weigh down the chillies with a saucer and leave to soak for 20 minutes. Discard the soaking liquid, then remove the chilli seeds and roughly chop the flesh. Put this in a food processor with the red chillies, chopped onion, garlic, spices, tomato paste, half the oil and a teaspoon of salt, and blitz smooth, scraping down the bowl as you go. Scrape into a bowl and stir in the remaining oil.

Put the turkey giblets in a large, 38cm x 32cm baking tray with a slight lip, add the onion wedges and 500ml water, and top with a large roasting rack.

Pat dry the turkey and season all over with two teaspoons of salt and a good grind of pepper; season the inside, too. Rub half the spice mix over the turkey, including the cavity and in between the breast and skin. Put the turkey on the rack, roast for an hour, then rotate and baste. Repeat every half hour or so, until it has cooked for two hours and 20 minutes, or until the juices run clear (if you have one, it should register 74C on a thermometer); if it gets too dark around the 90-minute mark, loosely cover with foil. Leave to rest (removing any foil) for 15 minutes, so its juices drop into the tray.

Once the turkey has rested, set it on a platter or carving board. Discard the giblets from the tray, then add the remaining spice paste, 400ml water and a half-teaspoon of salt to the tray, and scrape up any stuck-on, flavoursome bits. Return to the oven for 15-20 minutes, until bubbling and slightly thickened, spoon into a jug and serve with the turkey.

Charred lemony braised beans

Slow braising gives beans a soft, comforting consistency. I add lemon and herbs at the end, to reintroduce some freshness and vibrancy.

Prep 30 min
Cook 55 min
Serves 6 as a side

500g green beans, trimmed and halved widthways
500g runner beans, stalks trimmed, stringy part removed, then cut on the diagonal into 3-4 pieces
12 garlic cloves, peeled
1 green chilli, poked a few times with a small knife
120ml olive oil
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
250ml vegetable (or chicken) stock
Salt and black pepper
2 lemons, zest finely grated, to get 2 tsp, and juiced, to get 3 tbsp
10g tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
10g dill leaves, roughly chopped
10g parsley leaves, roughly chopped
35g preserved lemon (about 1-2), insides discarded and skin julienned

Put a large saute pan for which you have a lid on a high heat. Once it’s smoking, add a quarter of all the beans and cook, tossing occasionally, for about five minutes, until charred in places. Transfer to a tray and repeat in batches with the remaining beans (to speed up the process, cook them in two pans). Add the garlic and chilli to the pan and cook in the same way for about five minutes, until charred all over, then add to the beans. Leave the pan to cool slightly.

Put 90ml oil in the pan and set it on a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until soft and golden brown. Add the charred beans, garlic, chilli, stock, a teaspoon and a half of salt and a good grind of pepper. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until the beans are very soft, then stir in the lemon zest and juice.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the herbs, preserved lemon, the remaining oil, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper.

Serve the beans warm or at room temperature, with the herb mix stirred in just before serving.

Whole roast carrots with sweet-and-sour dressing

To make this dairy-free, swap out the butter for an extra one and a half tablespoons of olive oil.

Prep 10 min
Cook 40 min
Serves 4-6 as a side

50g sultanas
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1kg leafy bunched carrots
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper
25g unsalted butter
50g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
1 tsp caraway seeds, toasted and roughly crushed in a mortar
½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted and roughly crushed in a mortar

Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/465F/gas 9. Put the sultanas, vinegar and maple syrup in a medium, heatproof bowl and leave to plump up for about 20 minutes while you get on with everything else.

Peel the carrots and trim the tops to leave 2-3cm of the green stems attached. Pick and set aside roughly two tablespoons of the leaves. Spread out the carrots on a large oven tray lined with baking paper, and toss with a tablespoon and a half of oil, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning once halfway, until the carrots are cooked through and have taken on some colour.

Meanwhile, put the remaining tablespoon and a half of oil, the butter and almonds in a small frying pan on a medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for three to four minutes, until nicely browned, then pour into the sultana bowl. Add a quarter-teaspoon of salt and the reserved carrot leaves, and mix.

Arrange the carrots on a platter, all pointing in the same direction, sprinkle the toasted ground spices on top, pour over the sultana and almond dressing, and serve.


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Turkey, lemony beans, sweet-and sour-carrots: Yotam Ottolenghi’s Thanksgiving recipes | Food (2024)


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