As committed as I am to thorough documentation of the ultimate vegan, gluten-free Thanksgiving, I’ve been dragging my feet on writing up the final few posts. Why? Because the pictures I have from that night are just AWFUL. I really do my best to have this blog be a pleasant place to visit with some wordy but entertaining writing and pictures that at the very least look like stuff you would want to eat. And I do not regret for a moment that I sacrificed good lighting and composition in favor of atmosphere and conviviality for the beloved people who were actually at the Thanksgiving table with me, but I am having a hard time dealing with the consequences nonetheless.
But I’m going to have to get over it. Because I have a photo here, a flash-lit, snapshotted, slightly blurry photo, that illustrates what was possibly the number one best-loved dish of the entire meal. Duck and I are exceptionally lucky in that all of our parents care about food and are great cooks. We had intended to ask Duck’s dad to bring salad and stuffing until we tasted the trial-run of the Celery Root & Butternut Squash Gratin and we realized that stuffing was the last thing we needed. So he offered to make one of his signature Thanksgiving dishes, a Banana Pomegranate Casserole. Bananas and pomegranates and casserole – huh?
There was just no way that my mouth could imagine what tastes this title might imply. Then the dish came around at the table and I saw it was like a loose bake of sweet potatoes, pomegranate seeds and large pieces of banana. That seemed a little more graspable, but then I actually put it in my mouth and it tasted nothing like I had imagined either time. It was sublime! This was the dish that everyone looked for forlornly at the end of the night when we packed up their leftovers goodie-bags (there was no more to be had, we had eaten it all!). This was the dish that made each person’s list of favorites when Duck and I made all our loved ones obsessively go over all the details of the evening. I still can’t quite explain how it tastes but just trust me that it is AWESOME.
Banana Pomegranate Casserole (courtesy of Duck’s dad)
1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes peeled [I used garnet yams cause I think they taste the best]
3 banananananananas peeled
2 pippin apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
3/4 C. brown sugar, 1/4 C. water
1/2 C. pomegranate seeds – or more
preheat oven to 350
cut sweet potatoes & bananas into 2″ pieces and arrange on a glass baking dish with the apples.
make syrup w/ the brown sugar & h2o by simmering in a saucepan until smooth.
pour over casserole and bake uncovered until tender – 45-60 minutes.
then sprinkle w/ pomegranate seeds before serving.
Hints: this is the original recipe. How I’ve changed it is to cut everything into more bite size pieces since 2″ is pretty big and not exactly bite size. Apple slices are also smaller than quartered. It still takes at least 45 minutes.