For Gregory Gourdet, the executive chef and founder of Portland, Oregon’s Kann, the Thanksgiving table has always been a mix of inspirations. Born and raised in New York City by Haitian immigrant parents, Gourdet recalls large holidays dinners within the Haitian community in Queens, featuring staples like rice and beans, patties, and sweet potatoes done up with cinnamon, star anise, and Haitian vanilla — alongside turkey, and lasagna or baked shells.
When it comes to making his own menu now, “I definitely am the type of person who doesn’t like to be super traditional all the time,” says Gourdet. He’s finally convinced his family, for example, to let him cut the turkey into separate parts, preparing the breast one way and the thighs another; the preparations vary depending on the year. “The image of the whole bird on the table isn’t as important to me as having a really delicious, juicy turkey,” he explains. That idea extends to everything on the table: It doesn’t have to be the typical Thanksgiving dishes, just delicious.
Whereas his cooking at Kann in Portland — which stands on land of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, and Molalla tribes, among others — is focused on Haiti and the Caribbean more broadly, Gourdet draws from more global influences at home (plus a newer personal focus that inspired his 2021 cookbook, Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health). He particularly likes using kimchi, which offers bold flavor with very little effort and no need for lots of other additions. This Thanksgiving, Gourdet is playing with the idea of cabbage on cabbage by roasting Brussels sprouts with kimchi, scallions, and sesame oil. “On my Thanksgiving table,” he says, “you’ll definitely see dishes like Brussels sprouts with kimchi alongside sweet potatoes, you know?”
Roasting the Brussels sprouts quickly in high heat is crucial for cooking out the sulfuric flavors that some people dislike, Gourdet notes. It doesn’t take much else to make the dish delicious. “This really comes together so quickly because you start with something already amazing: kimchi,” he says. That’s crucial on Thanksgiving when there might also be a bird and other sides to worry about. But it also makes the dish just as perfect for a weeknight, in which case Gourdet would pair it with rice and a protein for a complete meal, (almost) no effort required.
Brussels Sprouts Roasted with Kimchi and Scallions
Serves 4 to 6
1 ½ pounds medium-sized Brussels sprouts
1 (14-ounce) jar (about 2 cups) well-drained spicy cabbage kimchi, cut into roughly 2-inch pieces if necessary
6 medium scallions, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces, whites halved lengthwise
½ cup avocado or extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
Step 2: Trim off the bottoms of the Brussels sprouts. If the outer leaves are wilted or yellowed, remove and discard them. Cut the sprouts in half lengthwise (or into quarters if they’re bigger than an inch in diameter).
Step 3: Combine them in a large mixing bowl with the kimchi, scallions, avocado oil, and salt, and toss well.
Step 4: Spread the mixture in a single layer on a large sheet pan and roast in the oven (there’s no need to stir) until the Brussels sprouts are slightly charred at the edges and tender but not mushy, 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 5: Drizzle with the sesame oil, toss well, and serve.
Gregory Gourdet is the chef and founder of Kann and Sousòl and the author of the James Beard Award-winning Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health.
Dina Ávila is a photographer in Portland, Oregon.
Recipe tested by Ivy Manning