Ahead of the carve

Plan a top-notch Turkey Day with these tasty holiday recipes from local chefs and restaurants.

Winter root vegetables lend their complementary, sweet flavors to this hearty bisque from the team at Charlie’s L’Etoile Verte. It’s great as an appetizer when entertaining, or for lunch with a crisp green salad on the side.

Charlie’s L’Etoile Verte – Carrot and Parsnip Bisque

©W Photography


1 1/2 pounds carrots

1 1/2 pounds parsnips

1/4 cup butter

1/2 ounce fresh ginger

1 medium yellow onion

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 cup white wine

2 1/2 cups water

2 quarts heavy cream

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 star anise

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Crisped prosciutto or bacon

Directions [1] Place carrots and parsnips in a large mixing bowl and coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread veggies on a sheet pan and roast in a 350-degree oven for 45 to 60 minutes, or until caramelized. [2] Place a large soup pot on the stove over medium high heat. Melt butter and add in onion and ginger. Stir often for about 10-14 minutes or until nice and tender, and the caramelization process has begun. [3] Combine roasted vegetables to the pot along with fresh thyme. Simmer for an additional 5-7 min, add spices and seasonings stirring until distributed evenly, and then pour in wine. [4] Cook for 2-4 minutes or until the wine has a come back to a simmer, now add the rest of the liquid. Bring to a low boil and cook for 20-25 minutes. [5] Remove from heat and cool for 5-10 minutes, then pullout the thyme sprigs and star anise. [6] Dividing the mixture into several batches and use a blender to puree each batch until smooth. Remove blender top plug to release pressure coming from the heat, and simply cover with a hand towel. Stir everything one last time, and the soup is ready to serve. Top with crisped prosciutto or bacon.

Decisions, decisions! Should you go family-style or do an elegant and intimate plating? This recipe from Nunzio Restaurant + Bar is perfect for either occasion. Top the roulade with cranberry chutney, an interesting twist on traditional cranberry sauce. You will enjoy the chunky texture of the fresh cranberries and the diced mango, a change from the orange used in traditional recipes.

Nunzio Restaurant + Bar – Turkey Roulade with Cranberry Chutney

(Serves 8)


4 slices raw turkey breast, lightly pounded

1/2 cup cooked spinach, squeezed and dried

3 ounces cranberries, dried

3 ounces pine nuts

2 tablespoons ricotta cheese


2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons parmigiano cheese

1 egg

4 slices prosciutto

Fresh sage

Fresh rosemary


1 mango, diced

3 ounces cranberry, dried

2 ounces walnuts

1 ounce balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

Directions [1] Heat oven to 400 degrees. [2] To prepare roulade mix, mix together the spinach, cranberries, pine nuts, ricotta, breadcrumbs, parmigiano, eggs and nutmeg. Set aside. [3] To prepare the roulade, place on a flat surface one flat sheet of aluminum foil. Place four slices of prosciutto in the center of the sheet and sprinkle with fresh rosemary and sage. Then, place the turkey slices on top of the prosciutto. Spread the stuffing mix in the middle of the turkey slice and roll tightly. Make sure the prosciutto covers the outside of the turkey as you roll. Use the aluminum foil to help you make the roll nice and tight. Seal both sides with aluminum foil on both sides like salami. [4] Bake the roulade for 20 minutes. Remove and set aside. [5] To make the chutney, sauté in a sauce pan the balsamic vinegar, cranberries and walnuts. Cook down for 5 minutes. Then, add the mango and let simmer a few minutes. Add salt and pepper and set aside. [6] To plate the roulade, remove the foil from the turkey roulade and slice with an electric knife into 3/4 inches. Place onto a serving platter and serve with a spoon of the chutney on top.

— Recipe by Chef Nunzio Patruno 

Invite Brussels sprouts to your Thanksgiving table by dressing them up with garlic, chili flakes, cheese and bacon. If you are not a fan of the cute little vegetables, this side dish from Wiseguys executive chef Chaun Bescos is sure to change your mind. “I chose this recipe because I’m running it as a family side dish for Thanksgiving here at the restaurant, and love Brussel sprouts. Well, anything cabbage-family related, really,” he said.

WiseguysGarlic Chili Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Gruyere Fondue

(Serves 4)


1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered

1 tablespoon garlic, shaved

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon avocado oil (or neutral flavored oil)

Bacon Gruyere Fondue (recipe below)

Directions Toss the Brussels sprouts in salt and let sit for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chili flakes and oil. Toss well. Lay out on baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place in serving dish.

Ingredients (fondue)

1/4 cup diced bacon

1 tablespoon shallots, minced

1 tablespoon garlic, shaved

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups whole milk

Pinch white pepper

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup gruyere, grated

Salt to taste

Directions (fondue) [1] In small sauce pot on medium heat, sauté diced bacon until it starts to brown. Add the garlic and the shallots and cook until translucent. [2] Add the flour and mix thoroughly to create your roux. Whisk in cold milk to your hot roux. Add bay leaves and white pepper. [3] Cook on medium heat for approximately 15 minutes to cook out the flour taste. Continue whisking sauce throughout cooking process to keep it from sticking. Once the flour flavor is cooked out, the sauce should taste slightly sweet; add salt to taste. [4] Remove pot from heat and whisk in the grated gruyere cheese. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary. [5] To serve, pour as much or as little as desired over your chili garlic roasted Brussels sprouts.

— Recipe by Chaun Bescos, executive chef at Wiseguys 

Moss Creek – Pecan-Cranberry Turkey Salad


1 1/2 pounds leftover roasted turkey, cubed

1 1/2 cups cranberries, dried

3/4 cup roasted pecans, rough chopped

2 cups mayonnaise, more or less to taste

1/4 cup honey

3 stalks celery, diced

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper

Directions Mix all ingredients and chill & serve.

— Recipe by Lenny Giarratano, executive chef at Moss Creek 

Mashed potatoes are usually out of bounds for vegans, but this tasty variation from Sprout Momma achieves a similar texture and taste without butter or cream.

Sprout MommaCreamy White Bean and Vegetable Mash


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced

1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 cups cooked white beans, drained

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions [1] Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, and carrot until translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add potatoes and white beans and cover with water by 2 inches. Season generously with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1 cup cooking water. [2] Mash vegetables, adding reserved water to adjust consistency. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil before serving.

— Recipe by Kim Tavino 

This creamy and sweet bisque from chef Eric Sayers pairs perfectly with warm marshmallow for those cool fall nights. “For garnishes, my favorite is homemade marshmallow, brûléed,” Sayers said. “Other garnish ideas are cinnamon croutons, cinnamon whipped cream, toast butternut squash seeds, pepitas or pumpkin oil.” This is one of the first recipes Sayers composed as a cook.

The Cypress – Butternut Squash and Pear Bisque

©Becky Davis


2 tablespoons butter

2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 onion, chopped

4 pears, peeled and chopped (d’anjou preferred)

1 cup apple juice

3 cups vegetable stock

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons nutmeg (fresh ground is the best)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper, to taste

Marshmallow (garnish)

Directions [1] Sweat the onion in butter for 3 minutes. Add the squash and pear. Add the apple juice and reduce by half. [2] Add the remaining ingredients and cook for at least an hour for flavors to blend. [3] Puree and adjust consistency with stock. Adjust seasoning. Garnish with marshmallow, brûléed.

— Recipe by Eric Sayers, executive chef at The Cypress 

When it comes to the holidays, cranberries are king. The team at Red Fish shared this recipe for their popular Cranberry Moscow Mule with Drunken Cranberries that they feature every year on their Thanksgiving menu. “It’s delicious!” Margaret Uremovich proclaimed. We agree!

Red FishCranberry Moscow Mule


1 1/2 ounces Deep Eddy Cranberry vodka

Fresh squeeze of lime juice

Ginger beer

1 sprig of rosemary (for garnish)

Drunken cranberries (recipe below)

Directions [1] Pour vodka over ice into a proper copper mug. [2] Squeeze in lime juice and stir. [3] Top off with ginger beer. [4] Garnish with drunken cranberries and rosemary sprig.

Ingredients (Drunken Cranberries)

1 1/2 cups simple syrup

2 sticks cinnamon

Zest from one large orange

1 cup fresh cranberries

1 1/12 cups white rum

Directions(Drunken Cranberries) [1] In a large saucepan, combine simple syrup, cinnamon and orange zest. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, add cranberries. Cook until cranberries just begin to pop and skins begin to split, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. [2] Strain liquid into a large container. Discard cinnamon sticks and orange zest. Add cranberries to the liquid, along with the rum. If cranberries are not fully submerged in liquid, add equal parts simple syrup and rum until they are completely covered. Let cool completely. [3] Cover and transfer to refrigerator until chilled, at least 2 hours.

We asked Eric Sayers, executive chef at The Cypress, for his turkey tips but he didn’t have much to offer. “I would never tell anyone how to cook their turkey for Thanksgiving. I have seen many, many ways in my career. Some very traditional, others just short of a house fire. I’ve been working Thanksgiving since I was 16 and just within the last few years have come about my favorite way to cook a turkey.” Instead, the accomplished chef provided a fantastic turkey alternative. This stuffed pork loin is super tasty and would be a hit on any fall menu.

The Cypress – Apricot and Walnut Stuffed Pork Loin

©Becky Davis


1 boneless pork loin (about 3-4 pounds)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup panko or fine bread crumbs

1/2 cup apple cider

1/2 cup dried apricot, chopped

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

1/4 cup shallots, minced

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon rosemary, minced

1 teaspoon sage, minced

Directions [1] Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the pork and pat it dry. [2] Butterfly the roast by first cutting lengthwise about halfway through the roast. Then angle the knife and cut horizontally almost all of the way through, on both sides. Unfold the pork and cut tiny slits in the surface of the meat. [3] Pound with a meat mallet to flatten as much as possible. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper and set aside. [4] Combine bread crumbs and apple cider, sit for 5 minutes. [5] Add walnuts, apricots, shallots, maple syrup, rosemary and sage. Spread mixture over surface of the pork. Starting with the smallest side of the meat (which should be in the shape of a rectangle), roll up tightly and secure with kitchen string. [6] Coat the bottom of a roasting pan with cooking spray or a little olive oil. Place the roast in the pan and cook at 400 F, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, reduce temperature to 350 F for another 45 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 140-145°F. Let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the kitchen string and slice into 1/2-inch thick slices.

— Recipe by Eric Sayers, executive chef at The Cypress 

Thanksgiving dinner just isn’t complete without a serving of moist-on-the-inside, crisp-on-the-outside stuffing. This vegan-friendly version from Sprout Momma tastes just as good as the original, without as much guilt. None of your guests will be able to tell the difference.

Sprout MommaVegan Stuffing


1 large loaf Sprout Momma whole-grain bread

3/4 cup green lentils, uncooked

3 tablespoons olive oil or vegan butter (I used a mix of both)

1/2 cup white onions, diced

3/4 cup celery, diced

Salt and pepper

3-3 1/2 cups vegetable broth (plus more for cooking lentils

1 batch flax egg (recipe below)

Directions [1] The night before, cube your bread and set it in a large bowl to dry out. You want it to be the texture of day-old bread, noticeably dry but not rock hard. [2] The day of, if you haven’t already cooked your lentils, do so now by thoroughly rinsing 3/4 cup lentils in cold water, then adding to a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cups veggie broth or water. [3] Cook over medium-high heat until a low boil is achieved, and then lower to a simmer and continue cooking uncovered for 20-30 minutes. Set aside. [4] Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×13 pan with foil or nonstick spray. Also, prepare flax egg and set aside. [5] Sauté onion and celery in the olive oil or vegan butter and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant and translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside. [6] To the bowl of bread, pour most of the broth then add the remaining ingredients (sage, cooked veggies, flax egg, and lentils) and mix with a wooden spoon. The key is to make sure it is about the consistency of a meatloaf. If it’s too dry, add more broth and mix again. If it’s gotten too wet, add more bread. [7] Transfer to the prepared pan and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Then remove the top layer of foil so the top can brown. Increase heat to 400 degrees and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the top is well browned and crisp.

Ingredients (flax egg)

1 tablespoon flaxseed meal

2 1/2 tablespoons water

3/4 tablespoon dried sage

Directions (flax egg) Combine all ingredients and mix well.

— Recipe by Kim Tavino

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