Turkey burgers can be very dry, and many of the recipes I’ve seen for them use shredded apple to add moisture. This recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook (my current favorite and most dog-eared cookbook) uses that abundant summer vegetable, zucchini. It’s ridiculously flavorful thanks to the mint/cilantro/cumin seasoning combination and has a little bit of a bite to it.
If you are feeling ambitious and want to make your own brioche hamburger buns, this is the recipe I used from Smitten Kitchen. While they were fairly simple, smelled great while baking, and delicious warm straight from the oven, they were, well…just OK. I’m certain there are surpassingly delicious rolls available from my (and your) favorite local baker.
turkey zucchini burgers with roasted red pepper ketchup (slightly adapted)
for the burgers:
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 large or 2 medium zucchini, coarsely grated to equal about 2 cups and squeezed to remove excess liquid
3 scallions, chopped
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp red cayenne pepper
2 cloves crushed fresh garlic
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix all ingredients through salt in a large bowl until well incorporated. With hands, form four patties of equal size. They will be very moist-much more moist than traditional burgers.
In a large ovenproof skillet, heat approximately 5-6 Tbsp safflower oil. Carefully place burgers into heated oil and sear on first side until golden brown. *VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure there is a good sear on the first side or the burgers will fall apart (due to the moisture) when you flip them* Turn and sear the second side. Carefully transfer the skillet to preheated oven to finish cooking, about 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.
Another note: I have never cooked these on the grill…I’m too afraid of them sticking or falling apart. My advice would be to oil the grates very, very well or consider placing aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray (my preferred way to barbecue chicken) over the grates.
roasted red pepper ketchup
Not a ketchup, by definition, but I didn’t know what else to call this multi-use condiment. I also use it as a salad dressing and on tomato sandwiches in the summertime.
1 cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp sherry vinegar
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
whisk all ingredients together. Store in a jar in fridge for up to a week.