In the kitchen with Sigona's: Thanksgiving side dishes

In the kitchen with Sigona’s: Thanksgiving side dishes

Since November is all about food, we’re giving you three fantastic recipes. Turkey may be Thanksgiving’s celebrity, but I love making new, healthy side dishes (that aren’t topped with marshmallows) that everyone from grandpa to the 3-year-olds will love. Enjoy! — Carmelo Sigona

Savory Shallot & Pancetta Green Beans

Make most of this dish beforehand and finish right before mealtime. It’ll still be crispy and delicious.


  • 1 lb. fresh green beans
  • 5 shallots, diced
  • 2 oz. pancetta, chopped
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press EVOO

Dunk beans in boiling water for 60-90 seconds. Remove and place in an ice bath. This immediately stops the cooking and keeps them crisp, yet done. Set aside until nearly fall leaves_constant contactmealtime; then finish as follows.

Sauté shallots in EVOO until tender. Remove. Sauté pancetta in same skillet until done. Reintroduce shallots add beans. Mix together until warmed through, season with salt & pepper.

Tangy & Sweet Berry-Cran Salad

Involve the kids in this simple dessert: they can dish it up and serve your guests! Berries are pricy this time of year, but really add to a healthy dessert or raw fruit plate.


  • 2 bkts strawberries, stemmed & sliced
  • 1 bskt raspberries
  • 1 bskt blueberries
  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 3 TBL organic Agave nectar (it’s low glycemic!)
  • Juice from ½ an orange
  • Whipped cream

In a blender, rough chop cranberries. Mix in orange juice and 2 TBL Agave nectar. Let sit for 1 hr.  Separately mix all other berries together with 1 TBL Agave nectar. Let sit for 1 hr (brings out natural sugars).

To serve, stir berry mixes together and top with whipped cream.

Roasted Root Vegetables

I first had roasted roots about 20 years ago at The Rio Grill in Carmel – wow! Delicious, healthy and easy to experiment with using local, seasonal vegetables!

  • 1 lg parsnip, peeled
  • 1 lg rutabaga, peeled
  • ½ Butternut squash, peeled
  • 1 lg red onion
  • 8-10 fingerling potatoes (I love Yukon Gold: rich & creamy!)
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Fresh rosemary & thyme
  • ¼ c. Sigona’s Fresh Press EVOO
  • Salt & pepper

Cut veggies into 2” pieces so they cook evenly. Place on baking sheet (lined with parchment paper for easy clean up), sprinkle with S&P, herbs, garlic and olive oil. Hand mix to coat all pieces. Roast at 400˚for 40-60 mins (check after 45 mins) until veggies are tender and golden.

Tip: Don’t be intimidated by squash! To peel Butternut squash, simply cut off both ends so it stands up straight, then slice in half lengthwise. Use a potato peeler to remove the skin.

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