Allow me to introduce you to my favorite salad recipe – the Turkey, Fennel and Cherry Salad. This dish is a celebration of flavors that will light up your taste buds like the 4th of July fireworks.
A salad so decadent, it’s like a sensory overload – every bite offers something new for your tasting pleasure. Imagine the juicy, tender pieces of cooked turkey breast, combined with the crispy and refreshing bites of fennel, and then the unexpected tartness of dried cherries – all in one bowl!
But that’s not all – this salad doesn’t just bring the taste, but also packs a healthy punch. It’s gluten-free, packed with protein from turkey breast and black rice, and full of nutrients from the superfood fennel bulb.
This salad is versatile enough to be served in any season – whether on hot summer nights or chillier winter days. It’s perfect for large gatherings or as a light meal for two.
And don’t worry if you’re not an experienced cook; I have included detailed instructions on how to make this dish seamlessly. So, let’s take a leap into making our perfect Turkey, Fennel, and Cherry Salad!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Listen closely, my food-loving friends, because I am about to introduce you to something that will transform the way you think about salads – the Turkey, Fennel and Cherry Salad.
Picture this: tender chunks of cooked turkey breast marinated in a sweet and tangy cherry sauce, mixed with thinly sliced fennel bulbs that impart a mild anise flavor and a satisfying crunch. But wait, that’s not all! We’re throwing in some dried cherries for a sweet chewiness, finely chopped pecan halves for some nutty goodness and arugula for a peppery bite. Oh, and did I mention we’re drizzling it with an orange-dill dressing?
This salad is the perfect way to get your sweet-salty fix without indulging in unhealthy ingredients. It’s naturally gluten-free and packed with healthy ingredients like ground ginger, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. Plus, it’s versatile enough to be served as a side dish or a main course.
But don’t just take my word for it. Imagine yourself indulging in the juicy pieces of cooked turkey combined with the flavors of fennel bulbs and dried cherries bathed in the delightful dressing. Every bite takes you on an explosion of flavors – your taste buds will be thanking you for days.
Trust me when I say that this salad will become your go-to recipe for any dinner party or lunch date. It’s easy to make and sure to impress your guests. So why wait? Give this salad recipe a try and get ready to hit it out of the park!
Before we get started with the recipe, let’s take a look at the ingredients we will need to create this magnificent dish. You will need:
- 6 cups arugula
- 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 12 ounces cooked turkey breast, shredded or chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon dill, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Salt and black pepper to taste
To make the salad even more exquisite, you can add any of these alternate ingredients:
- Pecan halves
- Wild black rice
- Cherry tomato salad
- Radish salad
- Avocado salad
- Quinoa salad
No matter how you choose to make it, this salad is sure to be a hit at your next party!
The Recipe How-To
Let’s start cooking! Here’s how you can make this scrumptious Turkey, Fennel, and Cherry Salad.
- 6 cups coarsely chopped, cooked turkey (about 12 ounces)
- 1 large fennel bulb
- 1 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Begin by cleaning the fennel bulb. Cut off the stalks and leaves at their base, then slice the fennel in half. Remove the tough core from each half of the bulb. 2. Finely chop the fennel bulb. 3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped turkey, chopped fennel, and dried cherries. 4. Add olive oil to the mixing bowl along with apple cider vinegar. Stir everything together until it is evenly coated. 5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 6. Serve topped with roasted pecan halves over black rice or as a side salad.
If you need to prepare this salad in advance, we suggest waiting until just before serving time to dress it with the vinaigrette. The sweet cherry and savory fennel flavors work well with avocado salad or roasted tomato salad for a complete counterpart meal.
That’s it! An easy-to-make yet nutritious salad that’ll be perfect for any occasion.
Substitutions and Variations
Now, let’s talk about how you can personalize and adjust this delicious recipe to your liking!
– Instead of turkey breast, you can use ground turkey or chicken to create a different texture and flavor profile. You could also swap it out for a vegetarian option like roasted chickpeas or tofu cubes.
– If you don’t have fennel available, don’t worry. You can substitute the fennel with an equal amount of finely chopped celery or shredded cabbage. It will add a similar crunch and freshness to the salad.
– For the cherry component of the recipe, you can try using dried cranberries or raisins instead of dried cherries. These will add a touch of sweetness that perfectly balances with the savory turkey and crunchy fennel.
– If you’re not a fan of pecan halves, you could use almonds or walnuts instead for a nuttier crunch. Alternatively, leave them out altogether for a nut-free version.
– To make this recipe gluten-free, simply ensure all ingredients used are gluten-free. You can replace the apple cider vinegar with rice vinegar for a gluten-free alternative.
– For an added citrus punch, add some orange zest to the dressing ingredients when making the vinaigrette in Step 4.
– If you’re not into spicy flavors, omit the ground ginger from the dressing ingredients or replace it with a pinch of ground cumin.
These substitutions and variations should help you to create your perfect version of this mouth-watering salad. Experiment with different ingredients and enjoy!
Serving and Pairing
Now that you’ve made this enticing fennel and cherry salad recipe, it’s time to serve and enjoy. The turkey, fennel, and cherry salad is versatile and can be eaten in various ways. You can have it as a stand-alone meal or pair it with other dishes of your choosing.
If you’re having the salad as a standalone, try pairing it with a refreshing white wine or a light beer to balance out the sweet-salty taste of the cherries and pecan halves. The fruity notes in the wine will also complement the cherry flavors of the salad.
For a more substantial meal, you can pair this salad with some grilled chicken or fish with lemon sauce to add even more freshness to the plate. Roasted sweet potatoes or mashed sweet potato make great side dishes for this salad as they add an earthy sweetness that pairs perfectly with the fruity and savory flavors of the dish.
Want something even more refreshing? Try pairing this salad with sliced avocado on top, which will add a creaminess against the crunchy fennel slices. A citrusy tomato salad could also make an excellent complementary side dish to break up the flavors.
Whichever way you choose to serve it, rest assured that this flavor-packed dish is sure to impress your guests at any gathering or dinner party.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Listen up, folks! When it comes to this turkey, fennel, and cherry salad recipe, timing is everything. If you’re like me and love throwing parties, then make-ahead dishes are your best friend. This salad can be made in advance, so you’ll have more time sipping on your cocktails and entertaining your guests.
To make ahead, prep the salad as instructed below but leave out the pecans and dried cherries until you’re ready to serve. Allow the salad to cool completely before covering it with plastic wrap and storing it in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Now, reheating a salad might seem unnatural to some of you, but trust me when I say that there’s a perfect way to do it! First things first, remove the pecans and dried cherries from the salad bowl and set them aside. Then heat up a skillet over medium-high heat and toss in the leftover turkey, fennel bulb and roasted cherries until everything is heated through. Finally, return the reheated ingredients back to the serving bowl along with the pecans and dried cherries.
If you’re lucky enough to have any leftovers after throwing one of your amazing parties, then store them properly in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Just remember that once you add the pecans and dried cherries, their texture will change over time. So if you want that sweet-salty crunch and nutty flavor combo intact then add ’em only when serving.
That’s all there is to it! This fennel cherry turkey salad can be made ahead without losing its flavor or texture if done correctly. Just follow these simple steps and become a meal-prepping master in no time!
Tips for Perfect Results
Now that you have all the ingredients for your fennel and cherry salad, it’s important to know some tips for a perfect result. Here are my recommendations to make sure your salad is the star of the party.
Firstly, be sure to properly roast the cherries for maximum flavor. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of black pepper before roasting at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes. This will allow their sweet and juicy flavor to balance the savory taste of the turkey and fennel.
Secondly, when making the dressing, use freshly squeezed orange juice for a tangy twist. Mix it with mayonnaise and ground ginger for a creamy texture and a hint of spice. These ingredients perfectly complement each other while enhancing the flavors of the other ingredients.
Thirdly, don’t forget to add some crunchiness to your salad. Pecan halves are an excellent addition as they bring out the sweetness of the dried cherries and provide extra texture. Toast them in a skillet over medium heat with some olive oil until golden brown.
Fourthly, make sure your fennel is properly sliced. Cut off its stalks and reserve only the bulb. Then, slice it thinly using a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer. This will ensure that it blends well with all the other ingredients while maintaining its unique taste.
Finally, let your salad chill in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving if possible. This will allow all flavors to blend and enhance each other resulting in an even more flavorful dish.
Follow these tips closely for a fennel and cherry salad that everyone will love!
So, there you have it, folks! My mouth-watering Turkey, Fennel and Cherry Salad Recipe that’s sure to please any crowd. With its sweet-salty flavor combination and a myriad of textures from crunchy pecans to chewy dried cherries, this salad is the perfect way to add some excitement to your meal.
And let’s not forget its many health benefits. This gluten-free and healthy recipe is loaded with nutrients like protein, fiber, antioxidants, potassium, vitamin C and K that your body needs to stay strong and healthy. So you can indulge guilt-free without sacrificing flavor or nutrition.
With simple instructions, visual appeal and easy substitutions, this recipe has something for everyone. Not only can it be made-ahead and stored for later use, but it’s also versatile enough to be paired with a variety of sides such as black rice salad, tomato salad or quinoa salad.
In conclusion, my Turkey, Fennel and Cherry Salad Recipe is the perfect addition for any occasion – whether you’re hosting a party or looking for a quick lunch option. So grab your apron, follow my tips and tricks for perfect results and get ready to impress your guests with this one-of-a-kind recipe. Trust me – they’ll be begging for more!
Turkey, Fennel and Cherry Salad Recipe
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider
- 5 -6 cups cooked turkey, coarsely shredded
- 1 large fennel bulb, washed,trimmed,cut in half,cored and thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1 cup pecan halves, lightly toasted
- 1 bunch dill, washed,patted dry,stemmed and minced
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- salt and pepper
- (To toast the pecan halves, spread them out on a baking sheet; bake in a preheated 350°F oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes).
- In a small saucepan, combine dried cherries and cider.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together the turkey, fennel, pecans and dill.
- Mix in the cherries and any remaining cider liquid.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and ginger and then toss the mixture with salad to bind it.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
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Anna is a culinary expert who specializes in grilling delicious BBQ dishes. She also enjoys sharing her recipes and experiences with her foodie community on her blog. She’s the total package for any backyard barbecue!