Whole barbecued turkey with buffalo ricotta and blistered grapes

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

  • 20 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped sage
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, plus one extra clove, halved
  • 600 gm buffalo ricotta, drained (see note)
  • 150 gm Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp (firmly packed) lemon thyme
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped oregano
  • 2 tbsp (loosely packed) organic lavender tips (see note)
  • Finely grated rind of 2 lemons, juice of 1, plus 1 extra, halved
  • 1 turkey (about 4kg), butterflied (see note), at room temperature
  • 800 gm small black seedless grapes, such as muscatels
01   Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add sage and chopped garlic, sauté until tender (2-3 minutes). Cool slightly, then combine in a bowl with ricotta and parmesan. Add herbs, lavender, lemon rind and juice, season to taste, set aside.
02   Heat a barbecue with a lid to medium heat. Carefully separate skin from turkey meat with your fingertips then stuff ricotta mixture under skin and gently press to distribute evenly. Rub turkey on both sides with cut lemon and garlic halves, season to taste and grill, skin-side down, until golden and crisp (8-10 minutes). Carefully turn, cook until just seared (3-5 minutes), reduce heat to low, place grapes on top, cover and cook until juices run clear when leg is pierced (50 minutes-1 hour; see note). Remove from barbecue, cover turkey loosely with foil and set aside to rest (20 minutes). Carve and serve with blistered grapes.
Note Buffalo ricotta is available from select delicatessens. If unavailable, substitute firm ricotta. Organic lavender is available from select florists. Butterflied turkey is available from select butchers; you may need to order it. Cooking times will vary depending on your barbecue. Alternatively, you can sear the turkey on a large grill plate and finish it in an oven preheated to 180C.

This recipe is from the December 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Recipe:

NICK HOLLOWAY, NU NU, PALM COVE, QUEENSLAND

Photography:

WILLIAM MEPPEM

Styling:

VANESSA AUSTIN, LISA FEATHERBY AND ALICE STOREY

Drinking Suggestion:

BEAUTIFUL PALE, DRY ROSÉ. , suggested by MAX ALLEN

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