Get a little fancy schmancy at home with this recipe for a restaurant-style composed dish

Sometimes, you crave more than a weeknight meal or crockpot convenience. Show off your kitchen skills instead

By Michael La Corte

Deputy Food Editor

Published May 14, 2023 2:00PM (EDT)

Jerusalem artichokes (Getty Images/Aniko Hobel)
Jerusalem artichokes (Getty Images/Aniko Hobel)

When cooking at home, there's sometimes nothing better than a big ol' communal dish cooking in the oven or on the stovetop, getting warm up and bubbly, permeating the house with its distinctive, alluring aroma. My column abbondanza taps into that sense of convivial joy channeled through the ethos of Italian-American cooking and abundance.

Other times, though, you might have a hankering for something a little more refined or sophisticated than, say, yet another enormous batch of chicken parm (this is a self-critique).

For those long weekends when you have a little extra time on your hands or those evenings when you are feeling a bit more experimental, I wanted to also come up with some recipes that are a bit more involved — the anti-weeknight meal, if you will. It can be terrific and incredibly convenient to whip up something homemade and get it on the table in a half hour before it's scavenged and everyone is satisfied, but if you're looking for a bit more oomph, a bit of a challenge in the kitchen or enjoy cooking and generally want to have a bit more fun . . . then you've come to the right place. 

Now, I didn't want to start with anything astronomically difficult, so this is a relatively beginner-friendly recipe for a composed dish. No matter if wanting to impress your family, your dinner party invitees or maybe just yourself, this dish should hit all of those boxes. One of the reasons I so fell in love with cooking 20 (!) years ago was the flexibility and customization it extended to me; practically any and all of these ingredients can be swapped out for something similar.

I'm not a baker for many reasons, but one aspect is the meticulous measuring and mathematical precision — I'm abysmal at numbers, so rest assured that you can truly make this with no measuring spoons or cups. I find that some food publications or general sentiment "in the culture" at large can sometimes rely on these silly, arbitrary "rules" about cooking that do nothing but instill fear and then just wind up intimidating most cooks into just ordering DoorDash. Try to push that aside, recognize that you are cooking in your kitchen with your ingredients and your utensils and you're going to make the best out of what you have. You never know what you might stumble upon.

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You might burn something here, you may slightly undercook over here and you may under-season one element, but on the flipside, you may discover a new technique, flavor or ingredient that you weren't aware of, you may surprise yourself and you might even unearth a new talent, passion or interest you never knew lay dormant behind the Stouffer's frozen meals and the Uber Eats and the endless array of pizza boxes. 

Many restaurant dishes include various components, often layering flavors, textures, colors and consistencies in varying ways to create balanced, unique dishes. I try to instill that philosophy here, but with some more of an "at home" energy. This recipe features a pretty commonplace ingredient (turkey!), along with some less-than-common ingredients. None of the steps are particularly difficult, but the timing and multi-tasking of working with prepping and cooking the various components are the tricky part, if anything. 

A quick run-down: I adore sunchokes but they're notoriously difficult to find at most stores, so if you need to sub. this out for anything, I'd opt for any other root vegetable. I'm partial to celeriac, rutabaga, turnip, radish and the like. Gai lan is another name for Chinese broccoli and broccoletti — not to be confused with broccolini or broccoli rabe — is another off-shoot hybrid of broccoli that is also sometimes called broccolette or "sweet baby broccoli." 

Lastly, as I'm sure you've ready many a time (and perhaps sometimes rebelliously refuse to do), please be sure to read this recipe through, in its entirety, prior to embarking on your journey. Pinky promise? You want to set yourself up for success. 

Don't be spooked — trust me, you're capable of much more than making a casserole.

Spiced turkey breast with sunchoke, parsnip, gai lan and broccoletti 

Spiced turkey breast with sunchoke, parsnip, gai lan and broccolettiSpiced turkey breast with sunchoke, parsnip, gai lan and broccoletti (Photo by Michael La Corte) 

04 servings
Prep Time
01 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes


For the turkey:

1 pound boneless turkey breast*

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons coriander

Unsalted butter or oil, to cook 


For the sunchoke puree:

1 pound sunchokes, peeled and roughly chopped (also called Jerusalem artichokes)

Stock, water, milk and/or cream, enough to cover*

Kosher salt

1/4 cup mascarpone*


For the parsnip chips:

Neutral oil

2 large parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced with a mandolin (or even a peeler) 

Kosher salt


For the gai lan oil:

1 bunch gai lan, stems trimmed and any discolored leaves discarded

1/4 cup neutral oil

1 lemon*


For the broccoletti:

1 bunch broccoletti

Kosher salt

Olive oil

1 lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium pot over medium heat, combine sunchokes with cooking liquid and a touch of salt. Cook for about 25 minutes or until the sunchokes are entirely soft and fork-tender.
  3. With a slotted spoon, transfer cooked sunchokes to a blender or VitaMix. Add a bit of the cooking liquid, plus the mascarpone and blend until smooth. This can be a game depending on the consistency you're looking for: Add more or less cooking liquid depending on if you want a viscous puree or a loose puree. Up to you! 
  4. Season puree and set aside.
  5. Season turkey breast(s) generously all over with salt, pepper, paprika and coriander. In a heavy-bottom skillet or cast-iron pan over medium heat, heat oil until just rippling. Add turkey and let cook until deeply brown and crisp, flipping once, until both ends are caramelized and the spices are fragrant.
  6. Transfer turkey to oven-safe vessel and cook for another 15 minutes or so, until fully cooked through. Let cool slightly before cutting into thick slices. (Leave oven on if you're looking to cook your brocoletti in the oven later).
  7. In a shallow pan (or a deep pot), heat oil; you can either go in a shallow, pan-fry direction here or a deep-fry direction, whichever you're comfortable with. Add parsnip chips, let slightly inflate and begin to brown, then remove to a paper towel-lined tray and season immediately with salt. Do not overcook; these can burn very easily.
  8. In a large pot of boiling water, cook gai lan until just tender, about 7 minutes. Transfer to an ice bath (this will help "lock in" the bright verdant color), then to a VitaMix or blender. Blend well until fully homogenous. Run through a fine mesh strainer or sieve, using a spoon or spatula to ensure every drop of oil has been "wrung" out. Discard any errant greens or grit left in strainer, add salt, oil and lemon to green oil and set aside. 
  9. In an oven-safe cooking vessel, toss broccoletti with salt and oil. Cook for 12 minutes or until sligthly frayed and crisped at the edges. Zest and juice lemon and toss with cooked broccoletti. (You can also do this in an air fryer).
  10. If you took a bit longer with each of the components than expected and your puree has gotten cold or your turkey is not still hot to the touch, now is the time to do some rewarming. 
  11. Plating: on four dishes, spoon your puree in the center, spreading it slightly about with the back of your spoon. Top with three slices of turkey. Frame the turkey with the brocoletti spears. Top with parsnip chips. Drizzle with gai lan oil. Finish with a sprinkle of flaky salt. 
  12. Voila! Enjoy

Cook's Notes

-I used one (enormous) boneless turkey breast, but feel free to opt for cutlets, bone-in or skinless or whatever you're able to get your hands on (buying turkey that isn't whole or ground can sometimes be a feat at certain grocery stores, so do your best).

-I used Better than Boullion: Turkey Base, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand.

-I opted for mascarpone because I had it on hand, but you can substitute labneh, creme fraîche, yogurt, even heavy cream or anything else along those lines

-If you're not a citrus person, feel free to opt for a vinegar or another type of acid. 

By Michael La Corte

Michael is a food writer, recipe editor and educator based in his beloved New Jersey. After graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, he worked in restaurants, catering and supper clubs before pivoting to food journalism and recipe development. He also holds a BA in psychology and literature from Pace University.

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