- The Washington Times - Monday, November 24, 2003

My family looks forward just as much to the dishes assembled with leftover turkey as they do to the stately fowl that takes center stage on our holiday table.

I have learned to buy a bird several pounds larger than needed just to ensure plenty for leftovers.

Turkey salad with cherry tomatoes and avocados

4 teaspoons ground cumin

1 cup regular or reduced-fat (not nonfat) mayonnaise

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons lime juice, divided

3 ripe (but not mushy) medium avocados, peeled and cut into -inch dice

Kosher salt

3 cups diced (-inch or less) cooked turkey meat

1 cups quartered cherry tomatoes

cup finely chopped celery

to 3/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

4 to 5 strips bacon, fried until crisp, then drained and crumbled, optional

Red leaf or other lettuce and tortilla chips, optional

Flour tortillas or taco shells, optional

Whole wheat or white bread, along with lettuce, optional

Place a small skillet over medium heat and, when hot, add the ground cumin. Stir and cook 1 minute to toast lightly. Remove skillet from heat, and set aside. In nonreactive bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, cilantro, 1 tablespoon lime juice and toasted cumin. In another bowl, toss avocados with remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice. Salt them lightly. Add avocados, turkey, cherry tomatoes, celery and teaspoon hot red pepper flakes to bowl with mayonnaise, and toss gently to combine.

If desired, stir in crumbled bacon. Taste salad and season with more salt if desired and with up to teaspoon additional hot red pepper flakes for a slightly spicier taste. (Turkey salad can be prepared 2 hours ahead; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature 15 minutes before using.)

Serve salad on lettuce greens garnished with tortilla chips or use as a filling for 6- to 7-inch flour tortillas or 6- to 7-inch taco shells. Or use the salad for making sandwiches with whole wheat or white bread and add some crisp lettuce leaves for crunch. Makes about 6 cups turkey salad.


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