Gobble Up a Turkey Reuben

As Tennyson famously wrote, “In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.”

Could the poet have been inspired by his love … of turkey?

(Editor’s note: No.)

Indeed, spring might come in like a lamb, but it goes out with the celebration of Turkey Lovers’ Month. One might have expected November to hold that distinction, but the National Turkey Federation dedicated June to spreading the word that turkey isn’t just for Thanksgiving feasts; it’s great any time.

In fact, who says you can only have Thanksgiving dinner on the fourth Thursday in November? As Americans, we have a lot for which to be thankful. Invite your family and friends over to enjoy a spring or summer “Thanksgiving,” and serve a deep-fried bird with a seasonally-appropriate twist on all of the trimmings. Then there are the leftovers. Use all that delicious meat to try new recipes, invent a new salad or just enjoy delicious hot or cold turkey sandwiches.

Aside from being high in protein and low in fat, turkey is very versatile. Ground turkey can be used in lieu of ground beef in almost any recipe, from chili to meatballs.  Next time you visit a supermarket, look at all of the turkey-based alternatives: turkey bacon, turkey pepperoni, turkey sausage, even turkey hot dogs.  And, of course, turkey deli meat is wonderful in simple recipes like this:

Turkey Reuben

  • Thinly sliced turkey
  • Rye or marble rye bread
  • Low-fat Russian dressing
  • Low-fat Swiss cheese
  • Sauerkraut
  • Unsalted butter (soft)
  1. Lightly butter two slices of rye or marble rye bread.
  2. Place one slice, butter side down on pre-heated pan or griddle. (About 350°)
  3. Stack Swiss cheese, turkey and sauerkraut to your liking.
  4. Add Russian dressing to taste
  5. Cover with another slice of cheese
  6. Top with slice of bread – butter side up
  7. Grill each side for 1-2 minutes.

If this is your day to indulge, swap out the low fat for the regular versions and maybe try your favorite coleslaw instead of sauerkraut. Also, while traditional Reubens are made with Russian dressing, use Thousand Island if you prefer.

— P.J. Butland