The day before Thanksgiving is the busiest Farmers’ Market day of the year. The market is filled with the sights and colors of fall, and excitement and eager energy fill the air. As soon as the farmers are set up, the chaos begins: customers crowd the farmers’ stands shopping for everything they need for Thanksgiving dinner. With shopping lists in hand, their bags fill with green beans, potatoes, pumpkins, herbs, celery, yams, flowers, nuts, apples, everything imaginable for the perfect Thanksgiving feast.
By now you have eaten your turkey dinner. Filled with tryptophan, you slept like a baby, and you are stuffed to the brim with gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberries, green bean casserole, stuffing, and apple pie. So as lunchtime approaches you are faced with the age- old questions: what do I do with all of the Thanksgiving leftovers? The quintessential hot turkey sandwich made with Thanksgiving leftovers is almost better than the turkey dinner itself. To assemble the perfect leftover turkey sandwich, heat up leftover turkey (or leave it cold, if you prefer), spoon on the gravy, pile on the stuffing and cranberry sauce, and put it all together with the bread of your choice. Of course, mashed potatoes and leftover green beans are the perfect accompaniment, followed by the obligatory slice (or two) of pie.
After your third turkey sandwich, though, you might be ready for a change. Several local chefs who regularly shop at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Markets shared ideas about what they like to do with Thanksgiving leftovers, aside from a turkey sandwich, of course. Samir Mohajer of Rustic Canyon on Wilshire recommends a turkey pot pie with leftover turkey, root vegetables, Swiss chard, béchamel sauce, and a cream cheese crust. Both Vicki Fan of Beacon in Culver City and Joe Miller of Joe’s Restaurant in Venice like to make a turkey soup. Keep all of the leftover turkey bones and make a delicious turkey stock. For the soup, add your leftover turkey (diced dark meat is especially tasty), and lots of vegetables and herbs. Other ideas are creamed turkey; a fall salad with greens, persimmons, pomegranates, and, of course, turkey; and turkey in pasta, such as a turkey tetrazzini. So be creative and embrace your leftovers!
Remember, the Saturday Downtown Farmers’ Market will be closed on Saturday, November 24, but the Saturday Pico and Sunday Main Street Markets will be open.