This variation on vitello tonnato retains the Mediterranean feel of the classic veal dish without all the fuss, and the arresting dark spiral created by the black-olive tapenade filling makes the dish special enough for entertaining.
3 tablespoons black-olive tapenade
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 (4- to 4 1/2-lb) boneless turkey breast half with skin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
1 (6-oz) can chunk light tuna in olive oil (do not drain)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
Special equipment: kitchen string; an instant-read thermometer
Accompaniments: lemon wedges; capers; chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Make filling and prepare roast:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350*F.
Stir together tapenade, zest, garlic, and rosemary in a small bowl.
Arrange turkey, skin side up, on a work surface with narrower, pointed end nearest you. Determine which long side of the breast is thickest, then, starting from that side and holding knife parallel to work surface, cut breast horizontally almost in half, stopping 1 inch from other side.
Open breast like a book. Season breast with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread tapenade mixture evenly on breast with the back of a spoon, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Starting from the side without skin, roll up turkey sideways, ending seam side down (skin will be on outside of rolled breast). Tie rolled turkey breast crosswise at 1-inch intervals with kitchen string. Pat roast dry, then sprinkle outside all over with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Heat olive oil (2 tablespoons) in a 12-inch heavy skillet until hot but not smoking, then brown turkey, turning occasionally, 8 minutes total. Transfer to a 13- by 9-inch roasting pan and add wine to pan. Roast turkey, uncovered, until a thermometer inserted diagonally 2 inches into thickest part registers 160*F, about 1 hour.
Transfer roast to a platter to cool, reserving pan juices. Cool roast completely, uncovered, then chill, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, 2 hours.
Purée tuna (including oil), 1/2 cup olive oil, water, lemon juice, anchovy paste, and 4 tablespoons of reserved pan juices in a blender, stopping and scraping down sides as necessary, until very smooth. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill until cold,
about 1 hour.
Assemble turkey tonnato:
Cut chilled turkey roast into 1/4-inch-thick slices, discarding strings, then top with chilled sauce. Bring turkey and sauce to room temperature, about 1 hour. Serve with lemon wedges, capers, and parsley.
Cooks' Note: Turkey roast and sauce can be chilled separately up to 2 days. Makes 6 to 8 (main-course) servings.
Photo: Romulo Yanes