This Week's Menu: Clean out the Fridge with Gratitude Edition

We're heading out of town on Wednesday morning to see family and friends for the holiday. So it's a short week of dinner planning with a singular focus: let no food die while we're away. 

All weekend I moved old food from the fridge to the table - I combined the last of the butternut soup with the last of the potato-leek soup, added brown rice and wilted some spinach into the mix. No child would touch it but it met a couple of needs in a satisfying way.

Tonight we're having buttered noodles, beet salad with feta, and roasted brussels sprouts with lemon-tahini sauce. Tomorrow's tacos will get filled with roasted squash and red onions - I'll toss those with some cumin and adobo sauce before roasting in a 425 oven so they turn nice and caramelized-crispy. At that point, there will be no perishable food in the refrigerator and I will declare victory. 

For the rest of the week, dinner will not be in our hands. For that, and for so many other things, I am grateful. Happy Thanksgiving! 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon-Tahini Sauce

Serves 4

1 pound brussels sprouts

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup boiling water, plus more if needed

1 small garlic clove

2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more to taste

>Set the oven to 475°F and place a rimmed baking sheet on a rack in the oven. 

>Halve the brussels sprouts and toss them with the oil, salt, and paprika. Give them a little massage to work the oil in between the sprouts' leaves and crevices. 

>Grab the hot sheet pan from the oven and place the sprouts, cut side down, on the sheet. Roast for  about 10 minutes, until browned and crisp. 

>Meanwhile, make the tahini sauce: combine the tahini and boiling water in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. In a mortar and pestle or with the side of your knife on a cutting board, mash the garlic clove with a pinch of salt until it becomes a paste. Stir into the tahini along with the lemon juice. If the sauce is too thick or seems a little curdled, just whisk in another splash of water. Taste and add salt and lemon juice as needed. It should be the consistency of regular yogurt. 

>Serve these family-style on a platter: spread the bottom of the platter with the tahini sauce, top with brussels sprouts, and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.