Thinking Thanksgiving

Thinking Thanksgiving

Thanks to Family Features, readers will have Tuscan-inspired (adapted for kosher) recipes from Carapelli Olive Oil for Thanksgiving. They recommend serving an inspired meal bursting with the rich flavors of Tuscany to create an unforgettable experience with family and friends. The recipes use heart-healthy olive oil, which is naturally cholesterol free and a healthful substitute for shortening and other oils. The juicy flavors and crisp, golden brown skin on the turkey come from a Tuscan Herb Paste made with fresh herbs and a blend of olive oils. For another amazing side dish, try sweet and salty Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions – it just might become the family’s new favorite.

Tuscan Roast Turkey


1 16-pound young turkey
Kosher salt, to taste
1 cup Tuscan Herb Paste (see below)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
2 teaspoons celery salt
3 fennel stalks with fronds, rough chopped
3 onions, large dice
1 stalk celery, small dice
2 1/4 quarts kosher chicken stock or broth
3 ounces all-purpose flour


Remove giblets from turkey’s cavity, rinse cavity and pat dry, set aside. Season turkey inside and out with kosher salt. Mix Tuscan Herb Paste with crushed fennel seeds and celery salt.

Starting at the neck of the bird, slip your hand between the meat and the skin to loosen.

Rub half the paste mix under skin, and rub remaining paste inside the cavity and over the rest of the turkey.

Place two-thirds of the chopped onion and fennel stalks inside cavity. Truss bird.

Place turkey in a roasting pan. Roast at 400°F for 30 minutes.

Reduce temperature to 325°F and continue cooking the turkey to an internal temperature of 160°F, approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Baste turkey often during cooking with juices from pan. If turkey begins to over brown, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

As turkey roasts, simmer giblets (neck, heart, and gizzard), the other one-third of the fennel stalk, onion mix and diced celery in 1 quart chicken stock until tender, approximately 1 1/2 hours.

When turkey is done, remove from roasting pan and set aside to rest. Degrease roasting pan, reserving 3 ounces of fat to make a roux.

Deglaze pan with a small amount of chicken broth. Transfer stock to a saucepot, and add remaining stock and broth from giblets. Bring to a simmer and degrease.

Make a blond roux with reserved fat and flour. Add roux to the liquid, whisking well to prevent lumps. Simmer 15 minutes. Strain gravy through a fine-meshed strainer. Adjust seasoning.

Serves 16

Tuscan Herb Paste


1 tablespoon fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
1/2 packed cup fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 tablespoons fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3/4 cup Carapelli Extra Light in Taste Olive Oil
1 cup Carapelli Premium 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Blend herbs and crushed red pepper with light olive oil using a blender or food processor, then stir in extra virgin olive oil.

Serves- Yield 2 1/4 cups

Serving Ideas: Rub under the skin of turkey and chicken for Tuscan Roast Turkey. Use to flavor vegetables for grilling and mushrooms for roasting.

Olive Oil and Herb Mashed Potatoes


10 8-ounce potatoes, (about 5 pounds) peeled and cut in half
3/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/2 cup Tuscan Herb paste
1/2 cup Carapelli Premium 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup pareve non-dairy creamer, warmed


Boil potatoes in salted water. When cooked tender, mash potatoes. Mix salt and pepper with Tuscan Herb Paste, olive oil and warm pareve non-dairy creamer. Fold into potatoes.

Serving Size 12

Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions


2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, blanched, quartered
4 tablespoons Carapelli Premium 100% Italian
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 onion, julienned
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
Sea salt
Fresh cracked black pepper

Trim stem end of Brussels sprouts. Discard wilted outside leaves. Boil in salted water until cooked through (about 7 minutes) and just tender. Shock in ice water. Quarter the cooled sprouts.

In large skillet over medium-high heat, caramelize onions in olive oil for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from pan and place in bowl. In the same skillet, over high heat, lightly brown Brussels sprouts. Add onions, toss.

Deglaze by adding white balsamic vinegar and scraping bottom of pan. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 12

Sweet potatoes with meringue (or marshmallows)


3 pounds sweet potatoes cut in pieces
1 can crushed pineapple (no sugar added) and drain
1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 cup sugar
2 extra large egg whites

Cook (or steam), peel, and mash sweet potatoes. Add other ingredients and mix well. Put mixture in a casserole sprayed with non-stick spray and bake for 30 minutes. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until it gets really foamy. Sprinkle in a little sugar at a time and keep beating. Now spread the meringue over the potatoes and bake for 10 more minutes. (If your family prefers, use mini marshmallows instead of the meringue).

Serves 8

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