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Dressed-up green vegetables

By LISA ANDRUS-WELCH

When considering vegetables to serve with the Thanksgiving turkey my mind goes first to sweet options like corn, squash, sweet potatoes or carrots. But aesthetically speaking, with all that brown, yellow and orange the table screams for something green, not only to add color, but savory flavor, too.

As a spinach-lover, a creamy Parmesan-sauced version sounds like a winner. The casserole is easy to prepare and bakes to perfection in 10 to 15 minutes while the turkey rests on the counter awaiting carving.

Broccoli is always a good choice at any meal, fresh or frozen. Simply steam the spears then toss with a lightly sweetened garlic butter sauce splashed with a hint of soy sauce and vinegar. Whole cashews give the dish a flavorful crunch. Or, make-over frozen peas and pearl onions with a lovely white sauce and Parmesan cheese.

Spinach Parmesan

4 pounds fresh baby spinach

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs

Directions: Preheat oven to 450-degree F. Lightly grease an 11×7-inch baking dish.

Bring 1/2 cup water in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add spinach in large handfuls, letting each addition wilt down a little before adding more. Cover and simmer 5 minutes or till tender. Drain well in colander, pressing firmly to remove all excess liquid. Turn into large bowl.

Stir in Parmesan, cream, butter, onion and pepper. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or till heated through and crumbs are golden brown. Serves 6.

Broccoli with Butter

and Cashews

1 medium bunch fresh broccoli cut into spears or the equivalent frozen broccoli spears

1 cup water

1/3 cup butter

1 T. firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp. pepper

3 T. soy sauce

2 tsps. vinegar

1/4 tsp. minced fresh garlic

1/3 cup salted whole cashews

Directions: In Dutch oven place broccoli spears; add water. Cover and bring to a full boil. Cook over medium heat till crisply tender, 5 to 7 minutes; drain. Remove to serving platter and keep warm.

In same pan melt butter. Add remaining ingredients except cashews. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, till mixture comes to a full boil. Stir in cashews. Serve broccoli spears with sauce. Serves 4 to 6.

Creamed Peas and Onions

1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas

1 cup whole pearl onions or frozen small whole onions

1 T. butter

1 T. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

Dash white pepper

1 cup milk

Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: In covered saucepan cook pearl onions in boiling salted water 5 minutes. Add peas and continue to cook another 5 minutes. Drain well. Place in serving bowl; keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour, salt and white pepper. Add milk all at once; cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Pour over hot vegetables; stir to coat. Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese and offer more at the table. Serves 4 to 6.