RecipeBeta: A great-tasting turkey salad that I’ll never serve to you. - Something Edible
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RecipeBeta: A great-tasting turkey salad that I’ll never serve to you.

RecipeBeta: A great-tasting turkey salad that I’ll never serve to you.

Abstract: Beta recipes are my own experiments that I've only tried once. Usually palatable, they often could be better with a little tweaking. So, please do & let us know what works.

I needed to get dinner on the table in a hurry and clear some leftovers from the fridge. I had some leftover turkey from a Sunday dinner that I needed to use, so I opted to make a turkey salad.

Purpose: When I'm looking for a way to use up leftovers or needing an anchor to a series of quick, light meals, a 'bound salad', or sandwich-style salad is a great solution. Problem is, I have fabricated a stigma with said salad that I can't seem to overcome. Don't take offense, but if I'm at your picnic, I'm probably not going to try your chicken, tuna, or egg salad; hell, I won't even order the [insert protein here] salad at a good deli. This however is a two-way street. Because I'm a firm believer in the golden rule, you won't find me serving you one either. I reckon I've had one too many bad salads, and the idea of not really being able to identify individual ingredients (especially in the more spreadable varieties) has left me jaded.

That said, if I'm the designer of my own salad destiny, and I know exactly what's in there, I think it can be a great anchor to simple and quick meal that has serious replay value.

Recipe: Jump to the detailed recipe. (or, keep reading for the gist of it) -

  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp horseradish prepared
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp corainder ground
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper fresh-ground
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mayonaise
  • 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt (plain)
  • 2 Tbsp roasted & salted sunflower nuts (that's the shelled achene)
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp red onion minced fine
  • 1/2 cup Swiss cheese grated (about 1 oz)
  • 2/3 cup celery ribs & tops, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked turkey breast chopped (about 8 oz)

  • Whisk together olive oil, horseradish, mustard, salt, coriander, celery seed, pepper, mayo and yogurt. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.

    Observation: In this instance. I had some leftover turkey breast from a critter frame I'd used for stock. The meat was fine and there was plenty of it; just a little dry after the time spent in stock-stasis. So, It stands to reason that a bit of a binder would work to rehydrate things, while enhancing the flavor the obtained from the veg in the stock simmer. Half yogurt + half low-fat mayo is a pretty standard mix for me; I think it keeps stuff from being too greasy and/or heavy, plus there's a slight added health benefit from using low-fat dairy. Everything else is quite often a taste-as-you-go affair. Start with the base; whisk in the seasoning and spice; add chopped garnish and protein; taste; adjust seasoning for taste and garnish proportions for mouth feel; adjust seasoning and/or garnish again if necessary.

    Results: A well-stocked pantry is the key to pulling off a spur-of-the-moment dish successfully. Leftovers are no exception. For this turkey salad, there were a handful of MVPs. Cranberries were needed to pull of that savory+sweet thing, sunflower seeds (it ain't a seed if it's got the shell) added a slightly nutty crunch, and the celery with tops added that crispness and freshness that made up for the fact that I had no other fresh greens in the house (and fresh herbs are otherwise nowhere to be found in the dead of winter - never throw away celery tops!).

    Overall, I might do this or a close variant of it again. Creamy, salty, tangy, sweet & crunchy are all there, so mouth and tongue are satisfied. Feel free to give it a try, and please excuse me for not offering to make it for you. grin

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