Turkey & Apricot Bread Salad

Turkey & Apricot Bread Salad

I’m absolutely in love with this salad. Just writing about it makes me want to make it again. Even though it is still the middle of winter in most places, I’ve been on a huge salad kick thanks in part to our wacky weather (it was 80F/27C here over the weekend and now it’s cold and rainy…). This might be the perfect balance of light and salad-y and filling and hearty, which makes for a pretty good winter salad. The flavors in this salad combine perfectly. Every bite had the perfect balance of sweet, savory and tangy. I would preferred to use fresh apricots, and even though we are lucky enough to be getting in the start of our summer fruits here in Southern California, I just couldn’t find any fresh ones up to snuff. Dried worked just as well, but I personally like the fresh version over dried. I actually thought that the turkey was kind of lost in this salad. I would have enjoyed it just as much with out.

In theory this salad should be pretty quick to make. It’s easy enough to make if you are using regular bread and pre-cooked/leftover turkey, but since I like to make things difficult, that’s not the route I went. I made gluten-free focaccia and poached turkey tenders. Neither really took that much time at all, but definitely a little more work than the original recipe, but nothing over the top. You could still make this as a delicious weeknight meal even if you have to take a few extra gluten-free steps. It might be a bit strange to see bread as a major ingredient in a gluten-free salad, but I really liked how the [Chebe|http://www.chebe.com/] Focaccia worked. They reminded me of the croutons I used to make from ‘real’ bread many moons ago.

Turkey & Apricot Bread Salad
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens.

  • 2 cups gluten-free focaccia bread, torn into bite-sized pieces (I recommend Chebe)
  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups shredded cooked turkey or chicken, torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, cut in thin slivers
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons snipped fresh rosemary (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • Cracked black pepper (optional)

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