I hope you all have enjoyed time to relax and feast with friends and family this week! Last week's salad appears late, for two reasons: 1. I was busy cooking last week (we hosted 11 for Thanksgiving this year, and roasted our first turkey!) and 2. I thought you might like a salad recipe that could use up some leftover turkey. This salad is a fresher, crisper, lighter take on traditional Thanksgiving fare - turkey, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberries, brussels sprouts, pecans, and sage-seasoned croutons, drizzled with a bright champagne vinaigrette. Happy belated Thanksgiving!
YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 c champagne vinegar
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 c plus 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4-6 oz baguette or other crusty bread, cubed
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
- 1 large garlic clove, pressed or grated
- 1/2 tsp dried rubbed sage
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley, crushed
- 4-8 oz cooked turkey, diced or shredded
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled, cubed, roasted, and cooled
- 1 c green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces, steamed until crisp-tender, and cooled
- 1/2 c sweetened, dried cranberries
- 4-6 c shredded brussels sprouts
- 1/2 c pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
- Make the champagne vinaigrette: combine the garlic, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, and 1/2 c oil in a pint-sized mason jar or other tall container. Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.
- Make the croutons: preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the bread cubes with the remaining 2 tbsp oil, salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, sage, thyme, parsley, and garlic. Bake the croutons for 10 - 15 minutes, or until evenly dried and golden brown. Cool.
- Pack the salads: add 2 tbsp dressing to each of 4 tall quart-sized containers; reserve the remaining dressing for another use. Layer the turkey, roasted sweet potato, green beans, dried cranberries, and brussels sprouts in the jars. Divide the pecans and croutons evenly between 4 snack-size zip-top bags for each salad. Refrigerate until serving.
- Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl. Top with croutons and pecans.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use your favorite store-bought champagne vinaigrette and croutons in place of the homemade dressing and homemade croutons. Used frozen green beans, thawed and patted dry, in place of the steamed green beans. Use pre-shredded, bagged brussels sprouts or baby kale in place of the freshly-shredded sprouts.
SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: For a vegetarian/vegan salad, substitute agave for the honey in the dressing, and your favorite mock turkey product for the cooked turkey. For a nut-free salad, substitute pepitas for the pecans. For a gluten-free salad, omit the croutons or substitute your favorite gluten-free bread for the baguette in the homemade croutons.
Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.