Sunday, November 25, 2012

Leftover turkey salad with dill and pomegranate

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Leftover roast turkey salad with lots of celery, fresh dill and pomegranate

I always make extra turkey for Thanksgiving. It's partly because I like leftover turkey (who doesn't?). But it's also because of the Thanksgiving Orphans.

There's nothing I hate more than hearing that a friend or acquaintance spent a holiday alone because he or she had nowhere to go. When I first moved to Los Angeles, I spent several holidays this way, and it was the most depressing experience I'd ever had. Which is why I now open my home to "orphans" whenever the holidays happen at my house. (We alternate years with my husband's family.)

I never seem to know until the last minute how many people will take me up on my offer, so I always order a big turkey and an extra turkey breast. Just in case, you know, a whole family of orphans turns up.

There are lots of ways to use leftover turkey - in soups, sandwiches, casseroles. But yesterday I was looking for something lighter and a little green. That's how this turkey salad with dill and pomegranate was born. The crunch of the celery and pomegranate arils cuts the richness of the turkey and mayonnaise-based dressing. And the fresh dill (plenty of it) wakes up the salad in a way only a fresh herb can do.

Note: The folks at POM Wonderful sent me a case of gorgeous fresh pomegranates (including the one used in this recipe) after I joined them on a tour of their San Joaquin Valley orchards and processing facilities. More on that soon; meantime, it's fresh pomegranate season, so look for their eye-catching displays at your local grocery store.

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Leftover turkey salad with fresh dill and pomegranate
This light salad will make short work of your leftover roast turkey from Thanksgiving or Christmas. Don't skimp on the fresh dill.
  • 4 cups leftover roast turkey, pulled into shreds or small chunks by hand
  • 6 large stalks fresh celery, chopped
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh dill, chopped (fronds from 1 large bunch)
  • 1 1/2 cups pomegranate arils (seeds)
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 large lemon (juice and zest)
  • freshly ground pepper
  • sea salt to taste (optional)
To a large bowl, add the shredded turkey, celery, green onions, fresh dill, and pomegranate arils. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, and a good dose of freshly ground pepper. Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the ingredients in the large bowl and stir gently to combine. Taste and add salt if needed (it will depend on how salty your roast turkey was). Serve chilled.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8-10 servings


Libbety said...


You have such a big heart! You blog inspires me in so many ways.

Erika Kerekes said...

Libbety, that is such a nice thing to say. Thank you!

Sippity Sup said...

Orphan Annie was at your house? (sorry lame joke...) GREG

Erika Kerekes said...

Nope - Orphan Nancy, Orphan Susan, Orphan Arianna... :)

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