Turkey Cutlets with Arugula and Tomato Salad

Preparation info

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Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

Made with veal, this dish has been enjoying a vogue at American Italian restaurants from coast to coast. It’s actually an old home-cooked Italian dish called orrechio d’elefante, or elephant’s ear. It’s usually made with a veal cutlet or chop that has been breaded and fried in olive oil. We substitute a turkey cutlet and ovenfry it in a very hot oven. For the breading, we use egg whites instead of whole eggs to cut down on cholesterol.



  • 1 large bunch (about 7 ounces) arugula, stems trimmed and coarsely cut up, or 3 cups mixed salad greens
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, cored and cut into ½-inch dice
  • ½ small red onion, cut into slivers
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 or 12 basil leaves, torn


    1. Wash the arugula thoroughly in warm and then cold water and dry with paper towels or spin dry in a salad spinner. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Combine the tomatoes, onion, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl and set aside at room temperature.
    2. Heat the oven to 450°F. Brush a large nonstick baking sheet with tablespoons of the olive oil.
    3. Place the flour and bread crumbs on separate sheets of wax paper and stir salt and pepper into the flour. Whisk the egg whites and water in a shallow soup bowl.
    4. Coat the cutlets, one at a time, first with flour, then with egg wash, and finally with bread crumbs, shaking off excess. If time allows, refrigerate cutlets 20 minutes before cooking. Arrange on the baking sheet. Bake until the turkey is browned and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
    5. When the cutlets are ready, place one in the center of each dinner plate. Add the arugula to the bowl with the tomato mixture, drizzle with the remaining tablespoons olive oil and the vinegar, and toss. Spoon the salad on top of the cutlets, dividing it evenly. Serve hot.