Recipe: Gingery Turkey and Cucumber Pitas

I LOVE this recipe.  LOVE it.  And it means something for me to say this, because after we discovered this dish about a year ago, we loved it so much we completely burnt out on it.  Like, to the point of not wanting to make it for months.  Recently, however, we’ve rediscovered it, and once again it’s a favorite.  For using so few ingredients, it has a ton of flavor, and I would be willing to bet that if you replaced the meat with crumbled tofu, it would still be great.  In fact, I think I’ll try that next time.

Also, it’s no secret that I’m vinegar-obsessed.  So the cucumbers in this recipe?  HEAVEN.  I always always always make extra, because I snack the heck out of them while I’m cooking (and the next day, and the next day).  You have been warned.

Another RealSimple gem.  Enjoy!

Gingery Turkey and Cucumber Pitas
–Marcus Nilsson for RealSimple

Gingery Turkey and Cucumber Pitas

Serves 4

1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
Kosher salt
2 Kirby cucumbers, thinly sliced (I like these, so I always add one extra)
1 red or green jalapeño, thinly sliced (remove the seeds if you’re sensitive to heat)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey (I prefer 93/7; you could also use tofu, chicken or pork, as the original recipe calls for)
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 pitas, halved (I use whole wheat)

In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the cucumbers and jalapeño and let sit, tossing occasionally, for at least 5 minutes.  But believe me when I say this is better the longer it sits, so if you can, make it at least a few hours ahead, if not the day before.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the turkey, breaking up with a spoon until no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the hoisin, ginger, and 2 tablespoons water and cook 2 minutes more.

Fill the pita halves with the turkey and cucumber salad.  Gobble.  (Pun only sort of intended.)

–Source: RealSimple Magazine, Gingery Turkey and Cucumber Pitas

September 22, 2010 - 7:06 pm

Kathryn There are actually several options for “ground meat” that are vegetarian but ginger marinated tofu sounds pretty yum.

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