Nothing says summer like a burger on the BBQ, right? It’s not summer yet, but we’ve had some really great weather lately and it just feels right to put some burgers on the grill. Frozen burgers from the store are great in a pinch or when you have a lot of mouths to feed, but nothing beats a homemade burger. I’ve tried some really good recipes for beef and pork burgers in the past. A lot of the time, the burger recipe itself includes some typical ingredients: maybe some garlic, grated onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. You can very it up, of course, by adding different spices or even some cheese, but the base of it is usually the same; it’s the toppings that really make them shine!
Turkey burgers, on the other hand, can take on a whole different spin and that’s why I love them so much. Mediterranean, Cajun, Holiday-inspired… you name it, just about anything is possible. Today’s recipe is super easy to whip up and are packed with flavour. They are my spin on Rachel Ray’s Turkey BLT Burgers from her Cookbook “Rachel Ray’s Look and Cook”, with some changes I’ve made over the years.
This recipe starts out with one leek, chopped into “half moons”, rinsed and dried really well. These go into a frying pan with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Wilt the leeks until they are softened, but not completely cooked through. Set them aside and allow to cool.
While the leeks are cooling, chop up the sun-dried tomatoes. I like a lot as long as they are cut into small pieces. The sun-dried tomatoes I buy are the ones in the antipasto bar at Zehrs. They are in an herb-infused oil which is great because they don’t dry out and get chewy like some of the dry-packaged ones. You can buy them in a jar as well, but I find you get more bang for your buck at the antipasto bar.
Once the tomatoes are chopped, I add them to a bowl along with the ground turkey, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and the steak spice. Then, I add the cooled leeks and start mixing. Given that ground turkey is usually “wetter” than ground beef, I usually have to add a palmful of breadcrumbs or almond flour to help bind the patties. Finally, finish it off with grated parmesan cheese.
Next, form the meat into patties. I like to make mine big because they will inevitably shrink when they are cooked. To help them hold their shape, pop them in the fridge for about 10 minutes before cooking them on the BBQ. If you don’t have a grill, stove top works out great over medium-high heat. Cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
How you assemble the burgers is entirely up to you. I like some lettuce, a tomato slice and a lightly toasted bun. Some days I skip the bun all together for a lighter option. For a sauce or spread, mayo works great, or you can use a spreadable goat cheese or herbed cheese. I don’t usually melt cheese on a turkey burger, but if that’s your thing then know yourself out; whatever blows your skirt up! Tonight we enjoyed ours with oven-roasted brussel sprouts.
Sun-Dried Tomato and Leek Turkey Burgers
Herbaceous sun-dried tomatoes and sweet leeks come together to make this turkey burger a fresh take on a summer staple
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 leek, cut lengthwise and then into “half moons”
- 1 Tbsp Extra-virgin Olive Oil
- 10-12 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp steak spice
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- ½ cup bread crumbs or almond flour