Walnut-Crusted Turkey with Smashed Yams

Here is a great dinner dish bursting with flavor.

Walnut-Crusted Turkey with Smashed Yams

Here is a great dinner dish bursting with flavor.

-Reproduced with permission from Golden Door Cooks at Home: Favorite Recipes from the Celebrated Spa by Chef Dean Rucker with Marah Stets (Published by Clarkson Potter, April 2009)

Walnut-Crusted Turkey with Smashed yams

This dish boasts two “SuperFoods”– skinless turkey breast is among the leanest meat protein options available, and the omega-3 fats in heart-healthy walnuts may help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients for the yams:

1 pound yams (2 medium or 1 large), washed and dried

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

1/2  teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/8  teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch of kosher salt, or to taste

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the turkey:

1 pound turkey breast cutlets

1/2 cup coarsely ground walnuts

1/4 cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Olive oil spray


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Place the yams directly on the rack in the oven and bake until tender when pierced with a knife, 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the yams.

3. Prepare the turkey. Lay one turkey cutlet between two sheets of plastic wrap and use the flat side of a meat pounder to pound it until1/4 inch thick. Repeat with the remaining turkey cutlets. If the pounded cutlets are very large, cut them in half.

4. On a large rimmed plate, combine the ground walnuts, bread crumbs, thyme, sage, and rosemary. Season both sides of each cutlet with salt and pepper and then press each side into the nut mixture. Arrange the cutlets on a baking sheet in a single layer. Refrigerate until needed, or for up to 6 hours.

5. When the yams are done, transfer them to a cutting board. Carefully split the yams in half (they will be hot) and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and transfer it to a bowl. Discard the skins. Add the orange zest and juice, the thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Use a fork to mash the yams and combine the ingredients. Keep warm.

6. Spray a large, nonstick sauté pan with olive oil and heat over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the turkey to the pan in a single layer; you should hear a sizzle (cook in batches if necessary; wipe out the pan with paper towels and spray with oil between batches). Cook until deep golden brown on each side and opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

7. Divide the roasted yams among four plates. Lean 1 or 2 turkey scallopini against the yams and. serve.

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