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November 9, 2012

Lasagna with Sweet Potatoes, Chard, and Arugula Pesto

in life,vegetables,vegetarian

Feeling quiet this week – thinking of the East Coast, as it slowly restores power and digs out from under the devastation nature wrought and attempts to find a sense of balance again; thinking about change (today is my last day of work); thinking about lots of things. The sun is shining in San Francisco after a fierce storm last night that brought thunder and buckets of rain and windows rattling in their casings. I have a cup of coffee. I dreamed deep and long dreams about Thanksgiving/dinner, and am a little tired this morning.

I also have two article deadlines coming up very soon, and I haven’t done a thing to prepare for them. While this creates the usual amount of slight stress, the reality that I will (hopefully) have a bit more time in my life now that I won’t be logging 8 hours/day in an office soothes me a bit. Still. There is work to be done and I must do it.

But in the meantime we are going East in a few days to remember what a cold fall is, to see friends, to visit my former home city. This wee blog will be, alas, dark next week because of those aforementioned deadlines and also because I am not sure how much Internet access I’ll have with all the to-ing and fro-ing. I typically try to put up some posts regarding vegetarian Thanksgiving, but as it’s only 2 weeks (! how is this possible? !) away I think I will throw in a few links here in hopes that gives some guidance, with apologies for the thinness of the suggestions. I have hardly thought about what my own menu will be (we are hosting, for the first time – and last! – time ever in San Francisco) beyond the turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetarian gravy, and pumpkin pie. I best get crackin’. Perhaps I’ll leave that to the plane trip.

Last Friday, my Final Work-at-home Day, I took full advantage and cooked like mad. A flourless cake with chocolate ganache and salted caramel buttercream; an almond meal apple galette; cauliflower soup; a lasagna with sweet potatoes, chard, and arugula pesto. The first two recipes need lots more work – hence the job-leaving, natch – the third was perfect, the fourth was divine. And it’s what I will leave you with today.

The lasagna is a riff on one my mom makes: a potato-chard-pesto lasagna that I dream about when I’m not eating it (almost literally; it’s really that good). I wanted to incorporate sweet potatoes for a change, and when I remembered that despite the warm weather California was hit with last week summer has truly gone to bed for the year basil pesto wasn’t an option. Enter arugula pesto. (Or as DW said, “pesto.” Either way.)

I think this would be a wonderful vegetarian Thanksgiving option or entree if you’re lucky enough to keep the whole meal vegetarian. It is reflective of the season while being hearty enough to satisfy hungry appetites. If you prefer to save it for a more ordinary weeknight and/or looking for a few more ideas, here are some resources to help prepare your own vegetarian additions to the Thanksgiving feast:

My NPR Kitchen Window story, heavy on the vegetables, lighter on fat: Thanksgiving Dinner with a Lighter Touch

My post a few years ago: Thanksgiving Sans the Bird

The vegetarian Thanksgiving story I wrote for NPR, November 2008: A Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Vegetarian Thanksgiving in the New York Times: via the Well blog

The SF Chronicle’s vegetarian Thanksgiving round-up: with lots of photos

And for fun, a Thanksgiving piece I wrote for my erstwhile column, “Common Walls,” in the San Francisco Chronicle: A small apartment Thanksgiving with all the fixin’s

Cheers, and catch up with you soon.

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