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Leftover Bird is the Word

As the tryptophan slowly leaves our system and Aunt Betty’s bunions are safely back in Boise, it’s time to shift our thoughts to what we are going to do with the raked over turkey carcass taking up an entire shelf in the fridge.

Turkey sandwich?

Yes please.

But after one or two you might want to spice things up a bit and carve out a completely different approach.

The key to Thanksgiving leftovers is to change the image.

I love a good turkey sandwich but by being a bit creative, you can lighten up your leftovers with just a few simple additions.

Sometimes turkey can be dry the next day, by adding a little mayo, some pesto, a few dried cranberries and some toasted pine nuts, you change the entire profile and everytime I make it, people gobble it up (sorry, couldn’t resist).

This turkey salad works wonderfully layered between wheat bread with some greens and sliced tomato, or it can be served “old school” on top of a cored out tomato, or maybe on mixed greens with fresh fruit and cottage cheese.

The first step is to pick through the turkey and make sure you’re not going to bite into anything off putting like tiny bones or excess fat.

Once that’s done, you’re using the same approach as you would with a tuna or chicken salad, so mayo is a big key to the outcome.

With only a few ingredients, it’s key to make sure your additions are of the highest quality.

Be careful when toasting the pine nuts, even a minute too long in the oven will turn them too dark and bitter.

Keep a close eye on them because their high fat content doesn’t allow for any mistakes, and they will burn.

Three to five minutes in the oven at 375 degrees will do the trick and the profile they add takes this turkey salad over the top.

This recipe is easy to make and takes very little time to prepare.

Raise your leftover game to another level and give this one a try.

Turkey Pesto Salad

In a mixing bowl add:

2 cups diced turkey (white and dark meat)

1/4 cup diced green onions

1/4 cup finely diced celery

1/2 cup dried currants or cranberries

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons fresh basil pesto

3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

Pinch of salt

Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together, adjust seasonings and serve on wheat bread with mixed greens and sliced tomato.

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