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Exclusive Recipes: Garth McColgan’s Turkey

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Turkey is for life, not just for Christmas, says Garth McColgan, founder of FoodActive and resident chef at Aldi. Today, he has two quick, healthy, and delicious recipes exclusively for CheapEats readers.

So, the gorging season has come to a close and I am dead keen, as I am sure you all are, to start the New Year cooking some light, healthy and value food for my family.

I have two recipes for you to try if you still have some leftover turkey from Christmas. If you don’t, go out and get some and you won’t be disappointed. Turkey sales in Ireland continue to be strong after Christmas in Ireland right up to March/April. It’s a very versatile source of protein, is good bang for your buck and is very low in fat. Tasty too, of course. Give them a whirl and watch out especially for the ratatouille in the second recipe. It’s dynamite and one that works well with our kids at home. You know how tricky it can be to get them on the vegetable trail.

Happy New Year to one and all.

Garth McColgan, FoodActive

foodactiveTurkey Club Sambo


3 slices multigrain brown bread

2 slices back bacon rashers

100g turkey breast steak

1 hard boiled egg

1 tomato

A few leaves of Italian mixed lettuce

2t fresh thyme chopped

Juice and zest of ½ lemon

60 mls mayonnaise

Olive oil


1. Boil the egg by putting it into boiling water for 7 minutes. Immediately cool it under cold running water. Peel and slice it.
2. Slice the tomato into nice thick slices.
3. Wash and dry the lettuce.
4. Lightly toast 3 slices of bread and allow to cool.
5. Mix the mayo with the thyme and lemon zest and juice.
6. Grill the bacon.
7. Season the turkey with seasalt and coarse ground black pepper and rub with a little olive oil. Fry on a medium hot pan turning it twice until it is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Rest the turkey while you assemble the sambo and cut into 4 thick slices.
8. Now assemble the sandwich. Start by spreading the mayo on the bread. Put the bacon, eggs and tomato on one slice and top with another slice. Mayo the top slice and lay a layer of leaves on it. Top with the warm turkey slices and the third slice of bread.
9. Secure the sambo with four cocktail sticks and cut it into four triangles.
10. Give your dad a quarter and munch the rest yourself!

Cooking Tip

You could use chicken breast instead of turkey if you prefer. Cook in the same way as the turkey.

Turkey Piccata with Ratatouille & Crusty Ciabatta

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4


For Turkey Piccata

3 slices Turkey breast

6 slices Parma Ham

25ml Olive oil

½ Onion, finely chopped

80ml White wine

10ml Lemon juice

25g Butter

For Ratatouille

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 Onion, finely chopped 3mm in diameter

1 Red Pepper, finely chopped 3mm in diameter

½ Courgette, finely chopped 3mm in diameter

8 Button Mushrooms, finely chopped 3mm in diameter

1 tin chopped Tomatoes.

½ Jar Red Pesto

2 sprigs Thyme

1 teaspoon Sea salt

1 pack Basil leaves, torn

1 Ciabatta, cooked per pack instruction and sliced


For Turkey Piccata

1. Lay a slice of parma ham on the board and top with a turkey slice. Now lay a slice of parma ham on top.
2. Cook in a hot pan with the olive oil for 2-3 minutes each side, until nicely coloured, remove from the pan and leave to rest in a warm place.
3. To make the sauce, put the same pan back on the heat and add the onion. Cook until soft for about five minutes.
4. Add Wine and lemon juice, bring to the boil and reduce by half.
5. Stir in the butter until melted.
6. Pour over the turkey and serve with the ratatouille and some crusty ciabatta.

For Ratatouille

1. Prepare all vegetable as per recipe instruction. It is important to cut them all quite small to extract maximum flavour.
2. In a Pan with 20ml olive oil, cook each vegetable separately (onion and garlic can be done together) for about 5 minutes each and empty into a pot.
3. To the pot of vegetables add chopped tomatoes, red pesto, thyme and seasalt.
4. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. To finish stir through the torn Basil leaves and serve.

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