From Cornbread To Turkey, Using Olive Oil In Your Thanksgiving Meal

Being the olive oil lover I am, good extra virgin olive oil plays a key role in the Thanksgiving feast at my home. And it can be a part of your meal, too, especially as a healthful, flavorful alternative to butter.  Below are ideas for how good olive oil can be a part of your Thanksgiving feast – in everything from mashed potatoes and cornbread, to veggies and the Thanksgiving bird itself.

  • Give roasted veggies like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, sweet potatoes or yams a finishing drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil for added flavor. I’d opt for my personal favorite, our peppery Miller’s Blend. You can do the same with boiled or steamed veggies, too.
  • If you have a poultry injector – like the one in the photo – use it to inject olive oil Poultry Injectorinto the breast and thighs of the turkey just before roasting. You could also try olive oil infused with lemon, garlic or rosemary.
  • 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 a great choice. (Click here to see the recipe.)
  • 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.)
  • 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 of the blog. (Click here to see the recipe.) Our buttery Everyday Fresh is good for baking.
  • 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.)

From all of us at California Olive Ranch, have a great Thanksgiving!

Bon appétit,

California Olive Ranch Master Miller Bob Singletary