I love turkey burgers. We live on the 10th floor of our building and we can't have a grill on our balcony so I'm always trying to find burger recipes that work well in a pan on the stove or baked. Ground turkey works so well in a pan. With a lower fat content, it cooks nicely without resulting in a greasy burger.
I'm always looking for new ways to make turkey burgers and with huge heirloom tomatoes now in season, I wanted something that would complement a thick slice of juicy tomato. I immediately though of a caprese salad; fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil.
Start by making a pesto mayonnaise. You can simply mix store bought pesto with a good mayo, but I prefer to make my own. Toast 1/4 cup of pine nuts in a dry skillet until lightly browned. In a food processor, combine 1 clove of chopped garlic, 1/2 cup of fresh basil, 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese, and the toasted pine nuts. Pulse a few times to coarsely chop.
With the food processor running, stream in 1/4 cup of olive oil. Combine 2 tablespoons of the fresh pesto with 1/4 cup of good mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper. Set aside and refrigerate.
For the turkey burgers, combine 1 pound of ground turkey with 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, 1 clove of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of minced sundried tomatoes, and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. I prefer to use sundried tomatoes that are not packed in oil. They keep nicely in an airtight container in the pantry and are easier to work with than the oil packed version. If you don't have sundried tomatoes, substitute 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.
Form the burger into patties. My buns were these huge brioche buns from a local bakery so I opted for two huge burgers, but this recipe will make four nicely sized turkey burgers.
Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a non stick skillet. Add the turkey burgers and cook 5-8 minutes per side until nicely browned and 165 degrees throughout. An instant read thermometer will make your life so much easier and they are not expensive. No more over or undercooked food and no more guessing when to take something off the stove or grill.
While the burgers are cooking, split and toast buns. As burgers finish, top with sliced fresh mozzarella cheese and melt. Top toasted buns with pesto mayonnaise, turkey burger with mozzarella cheese, a handful of fresh baby spinach, and a thick slice of tomato. I served these with baked zucchini fries. Nom nom!
Italian Turkey BurgersBy Land of Noms, April 10, 2015
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 2/3 cup fresh basil leaves, divided
- 2 cloves of garlic, divided
- 2 tablespoons of sundried tomatoes (about three medium sized)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
- Burger buns
- Baby spinach
- Fresh tomato
- Fresh mozzarella cheese
- Toast pine nuts lightly in a dry skillet
- In a food processor, combine 1/2 cup of fresh basil, 1 clove of chopped garlic, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and pine nuts; pulse to combine in a coarse chop
- With food processor running, stream in 1/4 cup of olive oil and process until smooth
- Combine 2 tablespoons of fresh pesto with 1/4 cup of mayonnaise and set aside; remaining pesto can be refrigerated 3-5 days
- In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, 2 tablespoons of minced fresh basil, 1 clove of minced garlic, minced sundried tomatoes, and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper and mix well
- Form turkey into 2 or 4 patties, depending on bun size
- Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
- Add burgers and cook 5-8 minutes per side until nicely browned and 165 degrees throughout
- Toast buns and slice tomato and mozzarella cheese, top burgers with cheese to melt
- Spread pesto mayonnaise toasted buns and top with burgers with cheese, fresh spinach, and thick slices of fresh tomato
Sharing our culinary adventures in Cascadia with simple, sustainable & satisfying eats. Bon Appétit!