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We’re hosting our first Thanksgiving meal in years, now that relatives are coming to our house versus the other way around. We’re still mulling our serving options. But one thing is for sure: Extra virgin olive oil will play a key role. Good olive oil adds flavor to a variety of dishes, from mashed spuds or sweet potatoes to pecan pie. It also keeps the turkey moist, when rubbed on beforehand. And olive oil is a healthful alternative to butter.Below are six ways for using olive oil in your Thanksgiving feast – in everything from mashed potatoes and cornbread, to vegetables and the Thanksgiving bird itself.
  1. Give roasted veggies like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, sweet potatoes or yams a finishing drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil for added flavor. We’d opt for our peppery Miller’s Blend. You can do the same with boiled or steamed veggies, too.
  2. If you have a flavor injector – like the one in the photo – use it to inject olive oil into the breast and thighs of the turkey just before roasting. You could also try olive oil infused with lemon, garlic or rosemary. Flavor Injector
  3. Rather than rub your turkey with butter, rub it with olive oil beforehand. For added flavor, use an herb-infused olive oil rub. Chefs Marge Perry and David Bonom, for example, combine fresh sage, thyme, garlic, and olive oil and rub that mixture under and over the skin, infusing the meat with flavor and helping keep it moist. Our Everyday Fresh oil would be good. (Click here to see turkey recipe.)
  4. When it comes to basting the bird, try a combination of olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh herbs like rosemary and sage. (Click here to see the recipe.)
  5. Swap out melted butter for olive oil in baked goods like cornbread. “Why melt the butter if extra virgin is already liquid?” asks Italy-based food writer Faith Willinger. “Use your favorite cornbread recipe, substituting extra virgin for melted butter.” Alternatively, try Willinger’s own cornbread, featured in the photo at the top. (Click here to see the recipe.) Our buttery Everyday Fresh is good for baking.
  6. Make your mashed potatoes with olive oil instead of butter and cream. “I recall that my grandma would fork-mash boiled potatoes, drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt,” Italian food writer Lidia Bastianich says. She’s developed her own version, adding roasted garlic cloves. (Click here to see the recipe.)
You can also find more Thanksgiving recipes in our November eNewsletter, which is devoted to reinventing classic Thanksgiving dishes with olive oil. (Click here to see the eNewsletter.)Bon appétit,Your friends at California Olive Ranch