Fresh Fridays 
November 15, 2013
  Vol. V, No. 19      

The brisk winds, ice-kissed puddles, and falling temperatures here in New England mean Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Celebrating this most American of holidays gives us an opportunity to indulge in one of the most wonderful aspects of the Mediterranean Diet: enjoying the pleasures of the table with family and friends in a relaxed setting.


To help you maximize the pleasure part and minimize the work part of the holiday, we have put together a small collection of recipes that are simple to make, but bring deep, comforting flavors to the table. And because wine has always been part of the Mediterranean Diet, Lisa Katic, RD, CSW, at Cru62 has put together wine pairings to help make your holiday wine selections easy, too. So invite your friends and family to dinner, have fun cooking, and bask in good company as you give thanks. 


Lisa suggests that if you like to keep things simple and want to serve a wine that will work with your turkey dinner from beginning to end, try a sparkling wine, especially a sparkling rosé. It won't overpower light appetizers and can stand up to either white or dark meat turkey. A still rosé from France or Spain is another satisfying choice to complement the entire Thanksgiving meal.  


Click on the titles or photos below to link to the recipes. 

Wine should be consumed by healthy adults only in moderation.  


Wine should be consumed as part of social, family, or celebratory occasions, but not as their central focus.   


Wine should be consumed with food or around mealtimes.   


Wine drinkers should know the distinction between moderate use and abuse.  

Parents who drink should do so sensibly and as models of moderation.  

Moderate, non-disruptive drinking is socially acceptable, while excessive drinking and any resulting behavior that violates legal or social standards is unacceptable. 

Wine drinking should follow clear, consistent, and sensible customs that emphasize moderation and discourage binge drinking. 


This savory bread pudding satisfies the desire for a stuffing or dressing on the table, but packs a Mediterranean punch with the addition of sun dried tomatoes.


Wine Pairing from Lisa, RD, CSW
This recipe is loaded with umami and intense flavors from nature. I recommend pairing the intensity of the flavors in this recipe with a southern Rhone red wine. A Rhone wine with a mix of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache matches the richness of the sun dried tomatoes and bacon and the sharpness of the cheese.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Bella San Luci/Mooney Farms       

This simple recipe is great for holidays and entertaining. Put your artichokes in the slow cooker before you start preparing dinner. When your guests arrive, pull them out, let them cool, and you have an elegant, flavorful appetizer ready to serve.


Wine Pairing from Lisa, RD, CSW
You may have heard that artichokes are not a good match for wine because they are thought to diminish a wine's bouquet and sour the palate. The culprit is said to be an antioxidant in the artichoke called cynarin, which inhibits our taste receptors and can actually make regular water taste sweet. But don't be deterred! Sancerre is the perfect pair. This wine, which hails from the eastern part of France's Loire Valley, is made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes. It is crisp, vibrant, and often hay-like in its complexity. It boasts beautiful minerality from start to finish. Sancerre will balance out the perceived sweet after-taste of the artichoke.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Ocean Mist Farms
This casserole makes a perfect Thanksgiving side dish. It packs classic Thanksgiving flavors like maple and sweet potato without being laden with butter or cream. Serve it alongside turkey, or make it part of a vegetarian holiday feast.


Wine Pairing from Lisa, RD, CSW
With spices and ingredients like cinnamon, ginger, orange, and apricots in this recipe, my wine pairing thoughts jump directly to a real unsung hero in the wine world: Gewürztraminer. This grape may be difficult to pronounce, but it is easy to drink, especially all through Thanksgiving dinner. This wine shines with notes of honey, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, apricot, pears, and even roses, making it absolutely perfect for the Thanksgiving table and especially the Sweet Potato Pumpkin Seed Casserole. 

Fresh Fridays is a bi-weekly celebration of Mediterranean eating and living. We hope our Friday recipes will remind you just how easy and delicious eating the Mediterranean way can be.   

To find even more delicious Mediterranean recipes please visit:     

 Mediterranean Foods Alliance (MFA)        



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The choice of abstinence must be respected. 

Drinking must be avoided in situations where it puts the individual or others at risk.


Wine should be consumed slowly to enhance the taste of food and to add to the enjoyment of everyday living.


12 Great Ways to Use Artichokes. 
Three young adults sitting at a table outdoors.

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