Local Restaurants Share Thanksgiving Recipes

Salad, soup, dessert, and leftover ideas for the holiday weekend

Still looking for some last minute Thanksgiving recipe ideas? Get some inspiration, with some of these recipes from some of the restaurants in the area.

Chilled Seafood Salad with Herbed Olive Oil and Sea Salt

According to George Georgiades, Executive Chef of Greek restaurant Varka in Ramsey, “Greeks just love their seafood even on Turkey Day.” Take a twist on the usual turkey and stuffing and impress your guests with this seafood salad.

1 pound cleaned squid

1 pound bay scallops

1 pound medium shrimp (about 25), shelled, leaving tail and connecting
shell segment intact

For herbed olive oil

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves (wash and dry
before chopping)

1/2 cup chopped fresh chives (wash and dry before chopping)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1/2 teaspoon table salt

2 lemons, sliced thin

Fresh lemon juice to taste

Coarse sea salt to taste plus additional for serving

Remove flaps from squid sacs if attached, reserving them, and cut sacs crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rings. Cut reserved flaps into 1/4-inch-thick strips and halve tentacles lengthwise if large. Remove tough muscle from side of each scallop if necessary, have ready a large bowl of ice and cold water. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook shrimp 1 minute, or until pink and just cooked through, and transfer with a slotted spoon to ice water to stop cooking. Add scallops to boiling water and cook at a bare simmer 2 minutes, or until just cooked through. Transfer scallops with slotted spoon to ice water to stop cooking. Add squid to boiling water and cook 20 to 30 seconds, or until just opaque. Drain squid in a colander and transfer to ice water to stop cooking. Drain seafood well in colander and transfer to a bowl. Chill seafood, covered, until cold, at least 2 hours, and up to 1 day.

To Make Herbed Oil

In a blender blend together herbed oil ingredients on high speed 
1 minute. Pour oil through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on solids, and discard solids. Herbed oil may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. One hour before serving, toss seafood with lemon slices and lemon juice. Divide seafood among 12 bowls and drizzle with herbed oil. Sprinkle salads with sea salt and serve additional sea salt on the side.

Recipe Contributed by George Georgiades, Executive Chef and Partner of Verka Restaurant in Ramsey.

Cream of Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkins are not only a fall staple but they remain a top Thanksgiving favorite. Embrace this fall fruit with this recipe courtesy of Vincent at Portobello Restaurant in Oakland. This recipe has a 6 cup yield.

Cream of Pumpkin Soup Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium sweet pumpkin

2 tablespoons butter

1 white onion, chopped

1 quart vegetable stock or water

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup to 1 cup of heavy cream

For Pumpkin Soup

Place pumpkin on an oiled baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from heat and scoop out pumpkin chunks with a spoon. Set aside.
In a large stock pot melt butter and cook onions in low heat for about 5 minutes until they are translucent.  Add vegetable stock, salt, nutmeg, heavy cream and pumpkin. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about half an hour and blend in batches; season to taste with salt. Pour soup into bowls and serve!

Recipe courtesy of Portobello Restaurant in Oakland.  

Thanksgiving on a Bun

Great for the day after Thanksgiving, Manager Joel Weiss recommends a sandwich that’s great way to get rid of leftovers.

 Fresh roasted turkey breast, sliced

 Hoagie or Seven Grain Roll


 Cranberry sauce

Take one hoagie or seven grain roll and layer turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce like you would when making a regular sandwich.

Recipe Contributed by Joel Weiss, Manager of Mason Jar Restaurant in Mahwah


For Joe DeVita owner of , Pizzelle is a family Thanksgiving favorite. Made from anise, margarine, and sugar, Pizzelle are light, airy wafers that go well with coffee and dessert.

½ cup Margarine

2/3 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 ¾ cups of flour

1 tsp. Baking powder

1 tsp. pure Anise

Pinch of salt

Beat shortening until smooth.  Gradually add sugar and beat well.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat.  Sift flour, baking powder and salt into mix until sticky soft. Best results – Make a soft batter. Use spoon to place batter into pre-heated Pizzelle maker, cook Pizzelle approximately 30-40 seconds until light in color. Allow to cool, lightly dust with powdered sugar.

Recipe contributed by Joe DeVita at Fratello Bake Shop in Wyckoff.

What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving recipes? 


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