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Lemon-Roasted Turkey Breast with Ratatouille

Recipe: Lemon-Roasted Turkey Breast with Ratatouille

Remarks:

    The seasoning on the top of this turkey breast comes from a great guy in Door County named Curt. He makes his own seasoning and sells it in a store and on-line. His web site is www.spiceguy.com. The first time I had Curt's spice mix it was sprinkled on a bowl of tomato soup in a little restaurant in Door County. Talk about making tomato soup go to a whole new level! Zing! It's really good. I don't know Curt but I'm happy to recommend his products.

    If you don't want to use Curt's, no problem. You can use any spice rub--Cajun, French, you name it. All will work well with the lemon.

    You can also grill the turkey, in case you don't want your oven on for two hours. Follow the directions for grilling turkey breast in your favorite cookbook.

    Dieters: I'm including an optional, easy lemon sauce for those who want to jazz it up even more. It's got butter in it, so it might not fit some diets, but you can use olive oil spread or, like me, you can just eat a tablespoon or two of the sauce and no one will lecture you about getting too much fat in your diet.

Servings:
Serves 4+ depending on portion sizes

Ingredients:

    Lemon-Roasted Turkey Breast

    1 4-lb (approximately) BONE-IN turkey breast
    Butter spray
    Curt's Seasoning
    5 to 6 thin lemon slices (peel on)
    (See below for optional Lemon Sauce for the Lemon-Roasted Turkey Breast)

    Ratatouille

    2 Japanese eggplants cut into one-inch cubes. (Do not bother to peel the eggplant. If you can't get Japanese eggplant, just get regular small ones.)
    2 green zucchini, cut into one-half inch slices
    12 large mushrooms, cleaned and cut in half, top to bottom
    1 12-oz jar roasted red peppers, cut into one-half inch wide strips
    6 large shallots, peeled and cut in half
    16 cherry tomatoes
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1 heaping tsp Italian herb mix
    2 Tbl balsamic vinegar glaze (Aged balsamic vinegar will also work.)

    Lemon Sauce for the Lemon-Roasted Turkey Breast (optional)

    4 Tbl butter, melted
    3 tsp grated lemon rind
    2 tsp lemon juice

Instructions:

    Lemon-Roasted Turkey Breast

    Gently loosen the skin over the breast so you can insert the lemon slices. There's usually a hole somewhere where you can get your fingers in and then just coax them up so you loosen the skin on the whole breast. Slide in the lemon slices so they sit next to each other covering the breast. They will lie under the skin, and the skin will hold them in place. Approximately 3 slices per side will do it.

    Stand the breast bone-side down in a large roasting pan. You want it to balance on the breastbone. I use a large, deep lasagna pan so I have plenty of room around the breast for the side dish. If you need to, you can do the side dish in another pan.

    Spray the turkey breast with the butter spray. Sprinkle on the Curt's spice blend. I cover the breast pretty generously. This is not a hot spice, just a real flavorful blend.

    Ratatouille

    If you use the large eggplants, you'll have to seed them. Place the eggplant pieces on a paper towel and lightly sprinkle salt over them. Set aside while you prep the rest of the veggies.

    Prep your remaining veggies. Then toss all of the vegetables (including the eggplants) around the turkey. Mix them up so you have a good variety all around the turkey breast. Drizzle on the olive oil and the Italian herbs. Keep the vinegar out for now.

    Roast the turkey and the vegetables at 350 degrees for 2 hours. If you use a meat thermometer, keep an eye on it and roast your turkey to 190 degrees. At the 2-hour mark, stir the veggies and check the thermometer. You should be ready or just about ready to take out the turkey.

    When the turkey is finished, take the turkey out of the pan and put it on a carving board. Drizzle on the vinegar or glaze on the veggies. Put the veggies in the turned-off oven so they stay warm.

    The turkey should sit for 10 minutes while you make the sauce. This causes the juices to soak back into the turkey, keeping it moist.

    Lemon Sauce for the Lemon-Roasted Turkey Breast (optional)

    Mix the butter, lemon rind and lemon juice in a pan or a heatproof measuring cup and keep warm until you want to drizzle it over the turkey slices.

Serving Suggestions:

    Carve the turkey, put the ratatouille on the side, drizzle the turkey with lemon sauce and you're ready to serve.

Enjoy!

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