I have a family that loves anything breaded...and I don't always want plain old breaded anything. Which was the case with the turkey scallopini I was making for dinner. I admit to spending a lot of time thinking of other options, until I looked in the fridge and found some leftover basil tapenade.
Together with some goat cheese (which we had quite a lot of) this was my compromise. I spread the tapenade onto the turkey, added some goat cheese, rolled the turkey up and then breaded the whole thing. Admittedly, it was very good. The crunchy bread, salty tapenade and tangy creamy goat cheese worked very well together.
I served it with some spicy garlic oven fried potatoes, green beans and crunchy Parmesan cauliflower.
I made the tapenade a few days before this, using it for a pizza topping. It's quick and easy to make, and I added in some pinenuts, just because there was a tablespoon of them waiting to be used.
Place your ingredients into a food processor:
2/3 cup black olives
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon pinenuts
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Process until you have a puree that is as smooth or chunky as you prefer. Mine was almost smooth.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
I had used about half for my pizza, so I used the rest for the turkey rolls.
Heat the oven to 350F. I had mine at 400F to cook the potatoes, then turned it down for the turkey. This allowed the potatoes to crisp and form a nice crunchy outside layer first, before finishing their cooking alongside the turkey.
Lay the turkey scallopini flat on a tray or cutting board. I had 4 pieces.
Divide the tapenade between the 4 pieces and spread it evenly over the turkey. I used about 2 tablespoons of tapenade for each piece of turkey.
Place a layer of crumbled goat cheese on top of the tapenade.
Starting at the narrowest end of the turkey, roll each piece up to form a roll.
Bread each turkey roll in:
Flour with a pinch of cayenne pepper
Eggs whisked with a bit of milk
In a hot pan, using a bit of olive oil, quickly brown all sides of the turkey rolls.
Place the turkey into the oven to finish cooking.
When the turkey is cooked completely, allow it to rest for 5 minutes before cutting each roll in half to serve.
- Tapenade usually consists of olives, capers, anchovies, parsley and olive oil. I like to include garlic, and to use whichever herbs I have available, which in this case was basil. The addition of lemon juice brightens the paste, and helps to cut through the richness of the oil from the olives, anchovies and olive oil.
- I omitted the anchovies as I had none.
- Be very careful when seasoning tapenade as the olives, capers and anchovies are salty. I only added black pepper to start off.
- Other additions that can be used to add some interest are sundried tomatoes, dried figs, rosemary, green olives instead of black.
- The tapenade will keep for up to a week in the fridge as long as it is covered. Storebought tapenade can be used instead.
- Any paste or thick sauce can be used instead of tapenade, and each will give your turkey a completely different flavour profile. Some suggestions include Thai red curry paste; any type of pesto; hummus.
- Other types of meat can be used...thinly sliced beef, pork or chicken, fish such as sole will all work well.
- The turkey rolls can be made and breaded ahead of time, up to a day ahead, before being cooked. They can also be frozen at this point. Do not defrost before cooking as the breading will become soggy as it defrosts. Cook from frozen, remembering to allow extra time to fully cook the turkey.