Harvest Turkey Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette

This salad is spectacular! Along with salad greens it has sliced turkey meat (I used cubed), dried cherries, diced pears, toasted pecans, and in place of the Gorgonzola cheese I substituted Feta cheese because we like it more. The recipe also has it’s own cherry balsamic vinaigrette which is outstanding. This recipe uses cherry preserves in the base. We loved it. So did our company!

John was telling me about this delicious salad at Panera Bread last week so I wanted to give it a whirl. I was going to wing it for both salad and dressing based on his description, but then I found this copycat recipe online and decided to give it a try. It was fabulous! We loved this delicious salad and I will be making it again and again. I used leftover turkey breast meat from Thanksgiving dinner, but sliced grilled or rotisserie chicken will work just as well. I found this version online here.

If you are looking for new, fresh ways to eat salad, I invite you to try this tasty recipe. You won’t be sorry. You can even substitute bacon or go meatless if you desire and the recipe will still work wonderfully. To get a little more color in the salad you may want to use a pear with a red peel, or add diced red onion or diced red or orange peppers.

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Salad greens with lots of turkey, dried apples, diced pears, toasted walnuts, and feta cheese. Yum, yum, delicious.

 

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This picture shows the salad with the cherry vinaigrette on top.

 

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Here’s a close up of the salad without dressing so you can see the texture.

 

Here’s what I did.

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Place spring mix in a salad bowl. I patted it dry with a towel because it was a little moist. I didn’t want the salad to deteriorate too quickly so I patted it try.

 

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Here’s the spring mix.

 

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I topped it with a bag of romaine lettuce.

 

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Place walnuts on pan and toast in 350 oven about 10 minutes.

 

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A cup of dried cherries was about 1 1/2 bags of these.

 

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Toss the dried cherries onto the salad greens.

 

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Cut pears in halves, then quarters, then core the pears. (Do not peel). 

 

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Here the pears have been quartered.

 

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Here I’ve cored the pears.

 

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I soaked the pears in lemon juice to prevent discoloration.

 

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Add diced pears to lemon juice.

 

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Swish the pears around in the lemon juice.

 

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Place pears on paper towels to dry.

 

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Pat pears dry with towels.

 

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Remove toasted walnuts from oven.

 

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Add diced pears to salad.

 

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Add toasted walnuts to salad.

 

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Crumble the feta cheese over top of the salad.

 

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Here I’ve added the feta cheese to the salad.

 

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Cut turkey in slices or cubes.

 

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Toss the turkey onto the salad.

 

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To make the cherry vinaigrette: place the balsamic vinegar into a saucepan and heat over medium heat.

 

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Add garlic.

 

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Here’s what that looks like.

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Add sugar.

 

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Bring mixture to a simmer until it condenses in half – about 10 – 15 minutes.

 

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Add cherry preserves.

 

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Here I’ve added the preserves.

 

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Stir in red wine vinegar and olive oil.

 

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Here’s the red wine vinegar.

 

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Here I’m adding the red wine vinegar.

 

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Stir in the red wine vinegar.

 

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Measure out the olive oil.

 

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Add salt and pepper.

 

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Here I’m adding the olive oil.

 

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Stir in olive oil.

 

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I added about this much salt.

 

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I added about this much pepper.

 

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Stir in salt and pepper.

 

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Here’s the salad dressing.

 

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Here’s the salad and salad dressing ready to serve.

 

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Here’s a serving of this delicious salad.

 

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Here’s a close up view of the salad without the dressing.

 

Here’s the recipe.

HARVEST TURKEY SALAD WITH CHERRY VINAIGRETTE

(Adapted from copycat version of Panera Bread’s Roasted Turkey Harvest Salad from panerabreadathome. blogspot.com.

 

1 large bag spring/field mix

½ bag Romaine lettuce, cut in bite-size pieces
2 large pears, unpeeled, cored, diced
1 cup toasted pecans or walnuts
1-2 cups sliced grilled chicken or turkey breast
1 cup dried cherries
8-oz. Feta cheese (we prefer feta cheese over Gorgonzola)

Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup cherry preserves
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the balsamic vinegar, sugar and garlic and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Simmer the mixture, uncovered, until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add the cherry preserves and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature whisk in the red wine vinegar followed by the canola oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside. I doubled the vinaigrette ingredients to serve with my large salad. Serve with a warm baguette.

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Here’s a look at the finished salad. Beautiful!

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You may want to try a bite of this elegant salad!

 

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Here’s a close up look to see all the detail. This is also a great company salad.

 

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This serving has the cherry vinaigrette on top.

 

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Time to enjoy this fantastic salad.

 

You may also enjoy these wonderful salad recipes:

Spinach Pomegranate Salad

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Spring Mix with Peaches, Walnuts and Feta

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Salad Greens with Berries, Cashews, and Goat Cheese

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Mandarin Spinach Salad

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Winter Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

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Kiwi-Strawberry Spinach Salad

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Spring Mix with Berries, Glazed Pecans and Feta Cheese

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11 Responses to “Harvest Turkey Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette”

  1. December 5, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    Perfect salad :)

    • December 5, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

      It is amazingly delicious!

  2. December 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    This looks sooooooo dang good!!!

    • December 4, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

      It was so much better than we even expected it to be. Even our company raved over this delicious salad. We’ll be making it again for sure.

  3. December 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    That gave me a good idea for a salad. I don’t have the ingredients for the dressing, but I can make a mustard vinegaret and drop the turkey. I have everything else. Thanks for the idea. :) I have a big bag of walnuts and I did not know what I was going to do with them.

    • December 4, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

      sometime make it again with the cherry vinaigrette. It’s really special. Please let me know how it turns out.

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