An Unforgettable Farm-to-Table Thanksgiving Menu from Stone Barns
When the farmers at Stone Barns in New York gathered for a potluck Thanksgiving dinner, they celebrated the livestock and the produce they had nurtured with an incredible locavore menu.
At Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, a sustainable farm and education complex located in Pocantico Hills, New York, where this feast unfolded over the course of a brisk autumn day, everything animal and vegetable is grown on site and commands loving respect. The attendees, all locals as well, included Jack Algiere, the farm director; and his wife, Shannon, the farmer educator; Craig Haney, the former livestock manager at Stone Barns; and his wife, Gabrielle Langholtz. They gathered family, friends, and colleagues for potluck favorites-homier fare than the star-chef cuisine of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the acclaimed on-site restaurant, but just as vibrantly flavorful, thanks to ingredients harvested from the farm's 60-plus acres of pasture and woods. Get inspired by their truly farm-to-table menu below.
TO START: KALE CRISPS + OYSTERS
On this cool fall day, a nip of Tuthilltown's Hudson Baby bourbon whiskey, distilled near Stone Barns from New York corn, makes a warming accompaniment to the aromatic appetizers: Tuscan kale crisps, served in paper cones, along with Nova Scotia oysters with an apple-ginger mignonette.
TO START: WARM FENNEL-AND-PARMESAN DIP
Fennel bulbs are roasted with garlic and teamed with plenty of Parmesan to create a warm, creamy dip. Serve with toasted rustic bread for dunking.
MAIN: ROASTED HERITAGE TURKEY
Give heritage turkey a try this Thanksgiving, such as Stone Barns' favored Bourbon Red, a rare breed dating to 19th century Kentucky. The darker, richer flesh is reminiscent of wild turkey and reflects generations of careful husbandry. But like other heritage livestock for which there is little demand, the Red is an endangered rarity. "Eat it to save it," Haney says, quoting a Slow Food maxim. Roasting the bird with butter under the skin ensures moist meat and crispy, irresistible skin; serve with Calvados Gravy.
SIDE: CORNBREAD, BACON, LEEK, AND PECAN STUFFING
Bacon (from the Stone Barns herd of Berkshire pigs-another heritage breed, which roots for acorns in the farm's wooded hills) adds smoky depth to cornbread stuffing. Pecans lend a satisfying, buttery crunch.
SIDE: CRANBERRY-APPLE CHUTNEY
Cooking fresh cranberries with cider vinegar, not actual apples, makes for a tangy twist on tradition. Red onion, dried fruit, cloves, cinnamon, and fresh ginger round out the flavorful sauce.
SIDE: PARSNIP-APPLE MASH
Instead of the usual mashed potatoes, it's all about parsnip-apple mash, made with parsnips harvested from the frost-hardened ground at Stone Barns; "It was like pulling the sword from the stone," Shannon says.
FARRO SALAD WITH OVEN-ROASTED GRAPES AND AUTUMN GREENS
Roasted red and Concord grapes sweeten this grain salad that also calls for red onions cooked with sherry vinegar, and just before serving, a medley of greens, such as baby kale, baby Swiss chard, red mustard, and red mizuna.
SIDE: DUMPLING SQUASH WITH CREAM AND SAGE
Sweet heirloom dumpling squashes are broiled with cream, sage, and garlic for this rich, earthy side dish.
DESSERTS: CRANBERRY-PORT SORBET + BLACK WALNUT SHORTBREAD COOKIES
Occasional "imports," such as the port wine in this cranberry sorbet, spice up homegrown fare. The buttery shortbread cookies are made with walnuts gathered by the farmers' children.
DESSERTS: HONEY PIE + PUMPKIN LAYER CAKE + QUINCE-GINGER COMPOTE
When Martha judged the annual Stone Barns pie bake-off in 2006, she awarded third prize to Langholtz's honey pie, made with ingredients from her husband's domain: wildflower honey and freshly laid eggs in the custard filling, and lard from Berkshire swine in the flaky crust. The tart-sweet compote combines quince, a recent addition to Stone Barns' orchard, and ginger from the greenhouse. Another nod to the season: pumpkin layer cake, gilded with goat cheese frosting and served with quince compote.