Turkey Florentine ♥

An oh-so-easy casserole, just spinach, leftover turkey and a cheesy sauce
Today's Vegetable Recipe: An easy turkey casserole. Layers of frozen spinach and leftover turkey topped with a cheesy sauce. Low carb.

Turkey leftovers! I like them so much that after our turkey-less, ham-happy Thanksgiving, I roasted a big turkey breast and all the trimmings just for the leftovers. But after a bit, just like anyone else facing a mountain of turkey, I was asking, What to do with leftover turkey? This easy casserole used up the last of the turkey in a one-dish meal, tasted great and fed a small crowd quite happily.

FLORENTINE? What does 'florentine' mean? In recipes, it usually means something on a bed of spinach. In general, it means something from the city of Florence, Italy.



VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more spinach recipes ~
~ one year ago this week Date-Night Chicken from Kitchen Parade, not all that different! ~
MAKE IT A MEAL Ha! This already IS a meal so will be added to the still-being-updated list of Main Dishes, recipes for main dishes with vegetables, of course.


TURKEY FLORENTINE

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 1 hour
Serves about 6

WHITE SAUCE (takes the longest so start first)
3 tablespoons butter
3 bouillon cubes, crushed (or you could soften in a bit of the milk that will be added later, I used 3 teaspoons of bouillon concentrate)
1/2 an onion, chopped (optional)
garlic? mushrooms? other chopped veggies? add what's on hand (optional)
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups milk (I used whole milk because it was on hand, skim works fine too)
1 cup cheese - grated Parmesan, cheddar, etc.

SPINACH LAYER
16 ounces frozen chopped spinach
Juice of half a lemon
Salt & pepper

TURKEY & FINISHING
Cooked turkey, chopped (I used a good two or three cups)
Other cooked leftovers, if you have them and want to extend the casserole
Paprika (for color, optional, I used the smoky Spanish paprika called pimentón, which is quite delicious)

Preheat oven to 350F.

SAUCE: In a large saucepan, melt the butter til shimmery on MEDIUM. Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms and other veggies and sauté a bit. Stir in the bouillon, flour and salt, stir til fully incorporated. A tablespoon at a time, add the milk, incorporating each tablespoon before adding the next. (This is what recipes mean when they say to "gradually add the milk". Doing so slowly prevents floury lumps from forming in the sauce.) When it's fully added, add the cheese and let cook for a few minutes, stirring often, til it's thick and hot and the cheese is melted.

Meanwhile, spread frozen spinach into a shallow casserole dish. Mike it for two or three minutes. (After miking, if it's really wet or if you're picky, you might squeeze handfuls of the spinach over the sink a bit to release some of the excess liquid.) Sprinkle the lemon juice over top, season with salt and pepper.

Top the spinach with the turkey and any other cooked ingredients. Spread the sauce over top, covering completely. Press a bit to help get down into the turkey and a bit into the spinach. Top with cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes.



KITCHEN NOTES
The spinach layer was delicious, perfectly fresh and green. It started with a bag of frozen spinach. A box would work too but spinach from a bag meant that the spinach didn't need thawing to spread across the casserole dish.
The inspiring recipe didn't thaw the spinach beforehand. But it was easy enough to throw into the microwave for a few minutes while the rest of the casserole came together.
Next time I might cook some chopped mushrooms with the white sauce. (Or go ahead, use a can of mushroom soup thinned with milk. I won't tell!)
Cheddar cheese would add more color to the top.
But next time, I'll turn the cheese into the white sauce so that the cheese-iness works into the turkey and spinach.


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2 comments:

I'm beginning to think spinach is my middle name as I'll put it in just about anything that seems remotely reasonable. I think I used to do a recipe something like this so I'm sure I'd enjoy this.

Christmas Day, has no longer any real traditions in Sweden. We eat left-overs from Christmas Eve. However, a couple of years ago, we tried to prepare a stuffed turkey for the first time on Christmas Day. A tasty bird! There were no leftovers:)

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