Let menus be your inspiration – LA Turkey Salad

I visited LA for the first time on Labor Day weekend and came back brimming with ideas of things to cook from all the places I ate.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, so much of my inspiration, along with learnings about what flavors work together, come from what I eat when we’re out. And the stack of menus I bring home with us add to my inspiration folder (grand name for a pile of paper!).  Nowadays so many blogs and websites will post the recipes from restaurants and cafes, so a quick Google is all it takes to find the recipes for you to recreate at home.  And if you can’t find the exact recipes, try and remember what you tasted then find a similar recipe and adapt it.  That’s what I did to make this yummy recipe.

LA Turkey Salad (serves 4-6)

This is a great salad to get into your repertoire.  The zesty, bright flavors are the best of California by way of Mexico.  This recipe uses freshly cooked turkey breast in a yummy marinade but I think it would be delicious with shrimp or rotisserie chicken or with leftover roast turkey from Thanksgiving or Christmas (yes I am thinking that far ahead already!)

If you want to add some more carbs to this, it is great with some diced (around half inch cubes), unpeeled potato tossed into it at the end. Just dice the potatoes then toss them in olive oil, salt and chili flakes then roast on a cookie sheet at around 400 degrees for about 40 minutes until they are golden.


1 tablespoon paprika (I used smoked but regular is fine)
half a teaspoon of red chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
half a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

2 skinless turkey breasts or around 1lb of shredded rotisserie chicken or roast turkey
2 ripe avocados – stoned and roughly chopped – keep the stones!
4 tablespoons plain yoghurt (low fat or Greek are fine)
2 limes
2 jalapeno or red chillis
1 large bunch of cilantro (coriander)
4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
1 romaine or cos  lettuce
1-2 grapefruit

For Serving
4-8 corn tortillas – warmed through
1 lime cut into wedges

To Make
1.  Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl then add the whole turkey breasts and coat with the marinade.  Leave for half an hour out of the fridge or up to 1 day in the fridge.
2.  Heat a dry skillet or frying pan over a medium heat then place the turkey in the pan and cook for around 20 minutes (10 minutes on each side).  Don’t be tempted to move the turkey more often than the one time you flip it as you want it to develop a good crust.
3.  While the turkey is cooking, make your dressing.  Put 1 of the avocados, the yoghurt, lime zest and juice, roughly chopped chili (seeds and all), Three quarters of the cilantro and a tablespoon of olive oil in a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth.  Then taste and adjust the seasoning by adding salt, lime juice or more yoghurt as needed.  Put blender jug or food processor bowl in the fridge with the avocado stone in the dressing to keep it from going brown until you are ready to dress the salad.  This can be done up to half a day in advance of eating.
4.  When the turkey is cooked, remove to a plate to rest and put the bacon in the same pan to crisp on both sides (around 5 minutes).
5.  Tear the lettuce into large pieces – each leaf into about 3 pieces.  Then place in a large bowl with the remaining avocado chunks.
6.  Chop the turkey into roughly 1 inch slices and crumble the bacon along with the turkey into the bowl of lettuce and avocado.
7.  Cut the grapefruit into segments and add that to the salad along with the dressing and torn up remaining cilantro and toss well together.
8.  Serve with lime wedges and warmed tortillas