Brunch, Entree, Recipes, Salad, turkey, Vegetables

Pan Fried Turkey Cutlets with Israeli Couscous-Lentil Salad and Roasted Okra

The following dishes can be made and served on their own, or, as I have done here, served together as a quick summer dinner.
Many times I rely on chicken for such quick dinners, but this time I decided to give turkey cutlets a try. Turkey cutlets are fairly thin sliced turkey breast cuts. As they are very lean, one of the best ways to keep them moist is to pan fry them quickly. Since the meat is a bit bland, I’ve used some  bold spices as a rub to flavor it. The tangy sumac added refreshing  flavor and color, along with paprika, harissa and a bit of hot sauce.
The salad is cross version of my couscous-lentil salad and my Israeli couscous salad, which I make often. Here I substituted regular couscous with Israeli couscous, and used sprouted lentils instead of regular lentils. A nice amount of fresh herbs, sun dried tomatoes, lemon and feta cheese, created a refreshing salad, so perfect for a hot day.
Last but not least, was the roasted okra. My favorite way of coking okra is Sephardic style. However, since it requires a few hours in the oven, I decided to explore a quicker way to prepare it. The okra turned out delicious, after roasting it in high temperature for a fairly short time. I will definitely use this method often.
All the dishes turned out very tasty, and complemented each other in flavors and textures. Try them and enjoy.

* Sumac is a reddish, slightly sour spice, that is used frequently in Middle Eastern cooking. It can be found in specialty stores or online (I recommend THIS brand).
* Israeli couscous is actually a type of toasted pasta, but the best way to cook it is to treat it like rice, with measured amount of water. This way of cooking will result al-dente and separated grains.
* Sprouted lentils are considered to be more nutritious and easier to digest. If you can’t find them, you can either try sprouting lentils yourself (I’ve never tried it, so have no tips regarding the process!) or simply use regular lentils.

Israeli Couscous Lentils Salad
Makes: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

2 tsp oil
1/3 cup Israeli couscous (see notes)
1/3 cup dried sprouted green lentils (see notes)
1 cup roughly chopped parsley and mint
7 sun dried tomatoes, chopped with the skin on
2 slices medium lemon, chopped
1 Tbs lemon juice,
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix
1 Tbs olive oil
½ cup crumbled Feta cheese

1. The couscous: heat the oil in a small pot over medium-high heat. Add the Israeli couscous, mix and fry for a minute. Add 2/3 cups water, cover the pot  and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.
2. The lentils: in a separate small pot, mix the sprouted lentils with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes. The lentils should be soft but still slightly firm. Drain and add to the bowl.
3. Add the herbs, sun dried tomatoes, chopped lemon, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix, taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Add the oil and mix again. Add the feta cheese and mix gently, to keep it in fairly large chunks. Serve at room temperature.

Roasted okra

Prep time: 15 minutes
Roasting time: 20-25 minutes

Preheat the oven to 420F (215C). Wash and dry about 30 medium size okra pods. With a sharp knife, carefully cut off the wider end in a cone shape, the way you would sharpen a pencil. Place in a bowl and season with 2 tsp salt, ½ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix and 2 Tbs olive oil. Arrange in a roasting pan, in one layer. Roast for about 20-25 minutes, until the okra is cooked through and starts to char. Serve warm.

Turkey cutlets
Makes: 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Rub 4 turkey cutlets (1.375 lbs/ 625 grams) with 2 tsp sumac powder (see notes), 2 tsp sweet paprika, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, ½ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix and 1 tsp sweet harissa and a few drops of hot sauce. Heat 2 Tbs oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, and fry the cutlets for about 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. Serve immediately.


36 thoughts on “Pan Fried Turkey Cutlets with Israeli Couscous-Lentil Salad and Roasted Okra”

  1. WOW – My kind of meal! I haven’t seen those turkey cutlets, but they look like the bomb. I have been using boneless chicken thigh or leg meat, but they are fattier than a nice slab o’ turkey.
    We’ve been watching a Great Courses series by Bill Briwa, and he explained in detail why Mideastern cuisine uses things like the sumac to provide the “sour” experience. Their shunning of alcohol apparently precludes the use of vinegar, so herbs must stand in for that factor.
    Virtual hugs, Judie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Judi, I’m glad you liked the meal. It’s definitely my kind too, especially in the summer. I use chicken a lot, so decided to alternate with turkey as well. I’ve used Shady Brook turkey cutlets and was very happy with the flavor.
      Not sure who is Mr. Briwa, but his knowledge of history is very questionable. The Middle East does not consists of Muslims only, and their traditions came much later – around 700 AC. Sumac is mentioned in the bible and was used to flavor foods from ancient times.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Myra, I’m glad you liked the recipes.
      I was always reluctant to use sprouted legumes, as I didn’t feel like sprouting them myself. But now that I’ve found dried sprouted lentils, I happily adopted them! 🙂


    1. Thank you Sheryl, I’m glad you liked the recipes.
      Good okra is not easy to find here either, so whenever I find reasonable ones, I immediately buy them. I too liked the simplicity of this way of preparing it. My next one to try is the Japanese blanching method. I’ll report! 🙂


  2. Great post Ronit – I often have okra and when time is tight I’ve also been using the quick roast method – I find it works a treat and I’ve been calling the result ‘okra chips’!

    Liked by 1 person

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