By Lindsay Hunt | November 22, 2010


Photo: Lindsay Hunt

With Thanksgiving coming up this Thursday, I’m getting into gear when it comes to new recipes.  I like to practice ahead of time, to make sure it’s worthy of the grand feast.  I tried out Marcus’ recipe for Chunky Mashed Vegetables from Soul of a New Cuisine and found a new sideboard staple.

When it comes to this food-centric holiday, I tend to over do it.  I think it must be my “thrifty gene,” encouraging me to gorge on food, because who knows when I’ll be able to eat next?  (The answer is usually just a few hours later.) But since Thanksgiving does only come once a year, I guess I can justify it.

This recipe was already featured online, but I couldn’t resist.  Often at the Thanksgiving meal, I am overwhelmed with the same flavors of salty, cheesy, and savory.  Although these are my favorite tastes, I thought something a little spicy with a kick of ginger would be a much needed addition to the Thanksgiving sideboard this year.

I tweaked a few aspects of the recipe to keep the dish cost effective.  I used canola oil instead of peanut oil, and cayenne instead of chile powder.  Often, I’m tempted to kowtow to the integrity of a recipe, because it’s printed in a cookbook, but it still tasted delicious and reinforced my belief that non-baking recipes are guidelines.  Instead of buying a bottle of peanut oil or chili powder, I made do with what is in my kitchen and still had a fantastic side dish for my dinner.  Also, I halved the amount of butter to keep it light, since I’ll already be eating stuffing, marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, and at least two slices of pie.

Photo: Lindsay Hunt

Chunky Mashed Vegetables Recipe

Servings: 4-6
Total Time: 40 Minutes


  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 1 lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut into quarters, or frozen green beans
  • 8 tbsp or (1 stick) butter
  • One 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño chilies, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the garlic and sweet potatoes with the peanut oil in a roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the garlic is tender. Remove and reserve the garlic. Continue roasting the sweet potatoes until tender, about 25 minutes.

2. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, if using fresh green beans, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water. Add the beans to the boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain the beans and plunge into the ice bath to stop the cooking and set the color. Drain and set aside.

3. When the sweet potatoes are done, transfer them to a large bowl, add the roasted garlic, and mash with a fork to a chunky consistency.

4. Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the ginger, carrots, onion, and jalapea±os and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the water and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and simmer gently until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. (If using frozen green beans, add them with the carrots.)

5. Stir in the berbere or chili powder and mashed sweet potatoes, then add the blanched green beans and cook, stirring, until heated through. Stir in the chives and salt and transfer to a serving bowl.

6. Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil and serve.

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