Easter is pretty late this year, but if you’re thinking ahead to entertaining, this marinaded turkey breast recipe from Ottolenghi The Cookbook is a great option to consider. It’s amazingly simple, so it would be an especially good fit if you’re planning on having a small group, or even no guests at all! It’s such a fresh, original way to enjoy turkey and the flavours are, not surprisingly, phenomenal.
If you are serving guests, pick up one breast per two people. They’re surprisingly easy to find now that turkeys are being stocked back in the markets. The one I found happened to be skinless and boneless, which worked just fine. The marinade gets reduced down to use as a sauce, but it is quite zingy, so you may want to serve it on the side since it may not be something that everyone’s into.
I served it with arugula and another asparagus dish from the cookbook. The recipe originally called for the addition of samphire, an asparagus-like plant mostly popular in the UK that grows close to the water, but I used asparagus alone, for lack of samphire, and garnished it with some feta.
Ottolenghi’s Marinaded Turkey Breast with Cumin, Coriander and White Wine
4 tablespoons mint leaves
4 tablespoons flat leaf parsley leaves
4 tablespoons coriander leaves (cilantro)
1 garlic clove, peeled
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
small organic or free-range turkey breast (about 2-1/4 lb/1 kg)
Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process for 1-2 minutes to get a smooth marinade. Put the turkey in a non-metallic container and pour the marinade over it. Massage the marinade into the meat, cover the container, and leave in the fridge for 24 hours. Make sure the turkey is immersed in the sauce.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove the turkey from the marinade (keep the marinade for later) and put it on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 400°F. Continue to cook for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature again to 350°F. Cook until the turkey is done, another 30 to 45 minutes (mine only took another 20). To check, stick a small knife all the way into the center; it should come out hot. If the meat goes dark before it is ready, cover it with aluminum foil.
To prepare the sauce, heat the turkey marinade in a small saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes, until reduced by about half. Taste and season with some more salt and pepper. Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice it thinly and serve with warm sauce.
Ottolenghi’s Asparagus and Samphire
1 tablespoon black or white sesame seeds
24 medium-thick asparagus spears
3 1/2 oz. samphire
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons tarragon
crumbled feta – optional
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a non-stick pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until they start to turn colour. Cook the trimmed asparagus in a large pot of salted, boiling water for a maximum of four minutes.
Drain the asparagus and rinse under very cold water until they’re cool to the touch. Leave in the colander to dry completely and use paper towels to dry the last few water drops, if necessary. Toss with the rest of the ingredients, along with the toasted sesame seeds, and serve immediately or chill in the fridge for up to 24 hours.