Turkey is such versatile meat; high in nutrients, and easy to use to create delicious encore meals. Once the meat has been picked from the bone, be sure to save the carcass of the bird. Toss it in your largest pot, cover with water, add some chopped onion, carrot, celery and a bay leaf and simmer until reduced by half. Strain the liquid, and pour into glass jars. This turkey stock will freeze well, and is handy to make soups.
The recipe for Turkey and Wild Rice Salad is my favorite for the season. Wild rice is known for its luxurious nutty flavor and chewy texture. It really isn’t rice, but a long-grain marsh grass native to the northern Great Lakes area and traditionally harvested by Native Americans. It is similar to wheat berries, which are the whole, unprocessed kernels of wheat, and which would be equally delicious in this recipe.
This salad has lots of room for personal creativity. The combination of the savory turkey and nutty grain calls out for a crispy green, bite of an allium and a fruit. Celery or celeriac give the salad a nice crunch, chopped fennel would be exotic. Red onion is pretty, as would be baby leeks or scallions.
Rounding out the taste experience are chunks of apples. I’m thinking halved and seeded grapes or pears would be tasty also. Thanks to my Thanksgiving turkey, so many wonderful ways to enjoy healthy and nutritious food!
Turkey and Wild Rice Salad
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup wild rice *
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup cider vinegar or artisan vinegar (chive tarragon, etc.)
- 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
- sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
- 1 pound cooked cubed turkey, about 2 ¾ cups
- 2 cup pieces celery chopped or ½celeriac
- 1 red onion finely chopped, about 1 cup
- 2 apples cored and cubed
- Fresh greens for serving optional
- Bring water to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Add the rice and ½ teaspoon of salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and most grains are split open.
- Drain well and cool. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and grainy mustard. Season to taste with the sea salt and fresh pepper. Combine rice with remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Gently toss with the vinaigrette. If desired, serve on a bed of greens.
- Makes 6 servings.