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Thanksgiving Leftovers


One of my favorite aspects of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is the abundance of leftovers. Although we get together with three other families each year for dinner at a friend’s house, I always make sure to roast a turkey and stuffing so I have leftovers at home as well. Combined with my homemade giblet gravy and cranberry sauce, the house smells wonderful and I know that there’s something available to eat all weekend.

Like most families, we cycle through the leftover turkey making sandwiches and various soups. When I was in high school I worked at a lab. I remember often going for lunch at a nearby turkey farm. They served the most delicious stuffing-and-cranberry sandwiches. The trademark of these sandwiches was using a slice of wheat bread and a slice of pumpernickel. For some reason the different shades of bread struck me as a very exotic touch. Nonetheless, eating Thanksgiving leftovers for a few days can get very boring. There are only so many variations on a theme that you can eat day after day.

I was thumbing through my cookbooks looking for ideas and saw a recipe for Open Faced Turkey Sandwiches with Ginger Avocado Relish. Perfect! It would be just different enough to keep a turkey sandwich interesting. The recipe below is my adaptation from the Williams-Sonoma Healthy Dish of the Day cookbook. In keeping with the Asian flavors, coat your turkey with a little toasted sesame oil before heating or rub some of the oil on toasted bread before making your open faced sandwich.

4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger root
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 avocado, peeled and diced

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.

To serve, toast your slice of bread then brush it with a little toasted sesame oil. Top with some warm sliced turkey and a mound of relish.