An Unforgettable Feast ~ A Tuscan-Inspired Holiday Menu

(Family Features) This holiday, serve an inspired meal bursting with the rich flavors of Tuscany. With these recipes — a moist and tender turkey along with savory sides — you can create an unforgettable experience with family and friends.

These Tuscan-inspired recipes from Carapelli Olive Oil will enhance and lighten up your holiday favorites with the distinctive taste of heart-healthy olive oil. Naturally cholesterol free, olive oil is a monounsaturated fat, which makes it a healthful substitute for butter, shortening and other oils.

Whether you are entertaining a large crowd or serving up a small family-style dinner, this Tuscan Roast Turkey will be the centerpiece of your holiday table. The juicy flavors and crisp, golden brown skin come from a Tuscan Herb Paste made with fresh herbs and a blend of olive oils.

After you’ve tried Olive Oil and Herb Mashed Potatoes, you may never want to go back to plain mashed potatoes again. The creamy texture and robust flavor are a perfect complement to the turkey.

For another amazing side dish, try sweet and salty Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Prosciutto — it just might become the family’s new favorite.

The rich taste of olive oil promises to elevate your holiday cooking to delicious works of art. For more recipes that will turn any meal into an unforgettable feast, visit

Tuscan Turkey

Tuscan Roast Turkey

Serves 16

1 16-pound young turkey

Kosher salt, to taste

1 cup Tuscan Herb Paste

1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed

2 tsp. celery salt

3 fennel stalks with fronds, rough chopped

3 onions, large dice

1 stalk celery, small dice

2 1/4 quarts chicken stock, divided

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 overbrown, 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 stock. 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.

Tuscan Herb Paste

Yield: 2 1/4 c.

1 Tbsp. fresh basil

2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary

1/2 packed cup fresh Italian parsley

1 Tbsp. fresh thyme

2 Tbsp. fresh sage

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

3/4 cup Carapelli 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.

Serving Ideas: Rub under the skin of turkey for Tuscan Roast Turkey.

Use to flavor vegetables for grilling and mushrooms for roasting.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Prosciutto

Serves 12

2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, blanched, quartered

4 Tbsp. Carapelli Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 onion, julienned

1 1/2 ounces prosciutto, sliced into 1/2-inch strips

4 Tbsp. 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.

Place in bowl, mix with prosciutto.

In the same skillet, over high heat, lightly brown Brussels sprouts.

Add onion-prosciutto mix, toss.

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

Mashed Potatoes

Olive Oil and Herb Mashed Potatoes

Serves 12

10 8-ounce potatoes, (about 5 pounds) peeled and cut in half

3/8 tsp. white pepper

1 1/2 Tbsp. kosher salt

1/2 c. Tuscan Herb paste

1/2 c. Carapelli Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 c. heavy cream, warmed

Boil potatoes in salted water.

When cooked tender, mash potatoes.

Mix salt and pepper with Tuscan Herb Paste, olive oil and warm heavy cream. Fold into potatoes.

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