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Add this harvest-inspired salad or Brussels sprouts to your Thanksgiving meal for a bright crunch

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Harvest Salad brings much-needed freshness, crunch and acid to the Thanksgiving table

It’s not a Thanksgiving dinner without the heavy-hitters: turkey, stuffing (or dressing, relax), mashed potatoes and green bean casserole are ubiquitous with the celebration. They all have significant overlap in flavor and texture profiles, but they lack freshness and acid. Cranberry sauce can bring a bit of acid to the table, but what about that much-needed, vegetal crunch?

Enter this fall-forward harvest salad. It won’t take the place of any of your beloved dishes, but it will make them shine even more with a cool, sharp flavor contrast.

It’s easy to overlook salad for Thanksgiving, but I think it has some staying power if you introduce this recipe to your family. It’s hearty without being excessive. It’s guaranteed to be crisp, fresh and tangy so it helps cut through a rich meal.

This harvest salad celebrates the flavors of the season, and brings a beautiful, vibrant palette to the dinner table. Bunches of purple kale brush against bite-sized chunks of butternut squash, with bits of goat cheese crumbled throughout. Dried cherries and sweet and spicy pecans balance the other flavors wonderfully. The whole dish is brought together with a dijon and maple vinaigrette that has a tart, fresh flavor.

In need of another vegetable for your dinner? Try Brussels sprouts roasted in the oven or air fryer for an easy, no-fuss Thanksgiving side

By the time you’re maneuvering between roasting a turkey, cooking mashed potatoes, baking stuffing and simmering gravy on the stove, it can be overwhelming to think about another complex side dish. It’s one of the reasons I love relying on these easy Brussels sprouts recipes. After just a few minutes of easy work, they’re on their way to get cooked.

I’ve got two Brussels sprouts options for you: one is roasted in the oven, the other gets cooked in the air fryer. Both rely on some savory additions and a bit of citrus to balance everything out. Whichever you choose, it’s a fast, easy vegetable side for Thanksgiving.

You can save time by buying halved Brussels sprouts at the store. Toss them in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then roast them for 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, make a relish of kumquat and red chile. Spread the roasted Brussels sprouts on a platter, drizzle with sour cream and sprinkle the relish over top and serve.

If your oven space is too precious and you can’t fit another sheet tray in, try Brussels sprouts in the air fryer. They come together in about 10 minutes and still provide a crisp veggie crunch and some brightness with lime juice.