Friday, Apr 20, 2018
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Give thanks for holiday leftovers

The minute Thanksgiving is over, Alicia and I are all about the leftovers. I've been known to cook an extra turkey breast just to have enough meat for sandwiches the next day.

Truth is, it's hard to beat a basic turkey sandwich. You know the drill -- a bit of mayo, good bread, turkey, and lots of black pepper. Lettuce and tomato are optional -- but so are assorted other T-Day leftovers, a la Dagwood, like cranberry sauce and stuffing.

But sometimes, especially when we have out-of-town guests, the gourmet in me (still inspired by the holiday feast) will insist on getting fancy with the sandwich fare. Alicia's recipe for Turkey Fig Salad is perfect.

This salad doubles as a sandwich filling, and it's simple and quick to prepare. If you didn't happen to cook an extra turkey, it's easy to do half-batch. Just use a small clove of garlic.

What are your favorite ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers? E-mail your ideas to

Contact Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross at Desperation Dinners, c/o United Media, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, or send e-mail to Or visit the Desperation Dinners Web site at

Turkey Fig Salad

Start to finish: less than 15 minutes

4 cups already cooked, chopped turkey

1/2 cup chopped dried California Black Mission figs

1/2 cup chopped pear, unpeeled

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup light mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons hot mango chutney (see Cook's note)

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced

lettuce leaves or toasted whole grain bread, for serving, optional

In a medium bowl, combine turkey, figs, pear, and pecans. Toss to mix.

In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, mustard, chutney, and garlic. Stir well. Spoon mayonnaise mixture over turkey mixture and stir well to combine. Serve over lettuce leaves or on toasted whole grain bread as sandwiches, if desired.

Makes about 5 cups

Cook's note: It's easy to cut the recipe in half: Just use a small clove of garlic. For testing, we used Crosse and Blackwell Hot Mango Chutney, which also makes Major Grey's.

Approximate values per 1/2-cup serving: 195 calories (44 percent from fat), 9.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 59 mg cholesterol, 17.5 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g dietary fiber, 207 mg sodium

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