All the best summer flavors come together in this delicious and light-tasting but filling summer salad – rosemary, pecans, honey, maple syrup, strawberries, and fresh seared turkey cutlets! The leanest and healthiest protein you can find doesn’t have to wait until fall to be enjoyed!
So we might not have gone anywhere this past weekend and we might not have had a whole troupe of folks over to the house for a barbecue as per our normal Memorial Day weekend routine, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t indulge in a lot of barbecue and beverages. Time to lighten and brighten things up dietwise, and my favorite solution for that is a summery chopped salad.
This one is full of delicious flavors, great for pulling in that last round or two of fresh strawberries from the garden, chopping up fresh rosemary, mixing up some tasty greens, and layering in gorgonzola, bacon, and rosemary-pecan roasted turkey cutlets, and drizzling it all with a delicious homemade honey maple vinaigrette.
Yes, turkey and maple! They both get typecast as fall flavors, but they bring a lot to this summery salad. Turkey meat is generally a lot learner and more packed with protein than other meats you could choose, and turkey cutlets are a great stand-ins for chicken breasts. Roasting a whole bird all day to get this great flavor isn’t necessary at all!
There are a lot of dishes I make where you can easily substitute canned or frozen produce for the real thing, but salads are not one of those dishes. In a salad, the fresher the better! And I’m proud to say that a lot of what went into this salad, from lettuce greens to strawberries to rosemary to a few sprigs of fresh chopped parsley thrown in on top came right from our garden in the backyard. And it just doesn’t get any better than that.
I grew up always having a backyard garden. My grandparents never stopped growing food since they started during World War II, and my dad, having been hungry many times as a kid, always had a way of finding the perfect part of our backyard or sideyard to coax corn, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, squash, and other family favorites into producing a beautiful summer bounty.
I let the tradition slack for a while since, between work and travel I was never home. But since Scott and I settled in Virginia, we’ve had pots of backyard herbs and strawberries going, and even an indoor Meyer lemon that has given us some deliciously fresh lemons. And this spring, when quarantine hit, I finally stopped talking about planting a full backyard garden and did it. And I’m so excited to see what it produces and teach Scott and our son how to tend it and harvest.
This salad isn’t as quick and easy as most of my usual recipes, since you have to coat and sear the turkey cutlet strips as well as prepping and chopping the rest, but believe me, it’s worth it. If you are pressed for time, cut and sear the turkey cutlets with salt and pepper and sprinkle some dried rosemary and toasted pecans into the salad for added flavor.
But if you have the time to coat the turkey cutlets in pecan and rosemary goodness and to make your own vinaigrette, enjoying this salad with a chilled glass of your favorite Sauvignon Blanc at a patio table outside is the perfect way to usher in summer.
[lt_recipe name=”Honey Maple Turkey Summer Salad” summary=”All the best summer flavors come together in this delicious and light-tasting but filling summer salad – rosemary, pecans, honey, maple syrup, strawberries, and fresh seared turkey cutlets! The leanest and healthiest protein you can find doesn’t have to wait until fall to be enjoyed!” servings=”6″ total_time=”30M” print=”yes” image=”https://homefrontcooking.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Summer-Turkey-Cutlet-Salad-with-Maple-Honey-Vinaigrette-0836-1024×683.jpg” ingredients=”For the turkey:;1/2 cup all purpose flour;1 tsp salt;1/2 tsp pepper;1 large egg, beaten;3/4 cup finely chopped pecans;1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed;1 lb turkey breast cutlets, cut into strips;3-4 tbsp olive oil;For the salad:;8-10 oz fresh summer greens;1 qt strawberries, hulled and quartered;3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese;1/4 cup chopped pecans;3 slices bacon, cooked and diced;For the honey maple vinaigrette:;3 tbsp cider vinegar;2 tbsp honey;2 tbsp maple syrup;1 clove garlic, minced;1/2 tsp Dijon mustard;1/8 tsp salt;1/8 tsp pepper;2 tbsp olive oil” ]First, make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients until well blended, and pour into a jar with a tight sealing lid. Set aside. If it separates, shake briskly to recombine.;Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil to hold the turkey strips while they cool. Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and let heat until it shimmers.;Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow plate. Beat the egg, and place in another shallow plate. In another shallow plate, combine the chopped pecans and rosemary.;Dredge the turkey cutlet strips through the flour mixture, then through the egg, and finally through the walnut mixture.;Saute the turkey in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the meat is no longer pink and the pecan coating is golden.;Serve in a large bowl and mix well to combine all the flavors. Plate, and then drizzle with the honey maple vinaigrette.[/lt_recipe]
Scott is in love with this vinaigrette and insists that it get its own spotlight. However, we devoured it before I was able to get enough pictures for a post. Oh darn, means I’ll just have to make it again!
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