Over the last several months (maybe even a year) LA has been noticeably obsessed with burgers. Every time I turn around it seems like a new specialty burger place is opening up or existing restaurants are featuring ‘signature’ burgers. All of them have their own spin on what they feel is the right combination of patty, toppings and bun. Some of them add unique and expensive ingredients; others feel that the meat should be the star; some have a strict ‘no substitutions’ policy and others let you build your own! Although many of these specialty burgers may sound mouthwatering, I do not eat beef, so there are many I have not tried. I do eat turkey burgers. There are some burger aficionados (many of them my family members) that feel a turkey burger is not a ‘real’ burger…and maybe it is not. I think those may be the same people that may try and dress a turkey burger up to be a beef burger. My feelings on turkey burgers are…they are not beef burgers, and turkey patties should not simply be substituted for beef. I like to find toppings that complement the turkey, like fresh herbs and creamy avocado.
I have been making this style turkey burger for years. I have changed the type of herbs, added a variety of toppings and tried many different buns. I knew I had it perfected when my meat eating husband started requesting it on a regular basis. All was well and good until I tried to actually write the recipe out. Identifying how much of each ingredient I used turned out to be quite the task. After multiple attempts with varying measurements I finally figured out the actual recipe for the burger I have been making for so long. I mix a yogurt herb sauce into the turkey meat to add both flavor and moisture. The panko bread crumbs help everything adhere together and also act like little sponges, soaking up the flavors of the sauce. I generally top it with avocado, gruyere cheese, honey mustard and arugula. I also use small ciabatta rolls instead of the typical burger buns. I find this combination absolutely amazing.
1 pound ground turkey (I prefer white meat)
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
4 scallions, both white and green
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
4 good quality burger buns or small ciabatta rolls
Honey mustard sauce (recipe follows)
In a small food processor or blender puree the scallions, garlic, and rosemary. Add the yogurt and mix briefly. In a large bowl mix the sauce, breadcrumbs and meat together, be careful not to overwork the meat. Divide into four and form into patties, sprinkle with salt and pepper. The mixture may seem a little wet, but don’t be alarmed; things will firm up once they are cooked. Allow the patties to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Heat a large skillet or griddle on medium heat. Lightly oil the pan, cook the burger until cooked through, about 6 minutes per side depending on thickness. Top with cheese, remove from heat, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, drizzle both sides of the rolls with olive oil and toast in hot pan until golden brown. Coat top and bottom with honey mustard, add the burger and desired toppings.
Honey Mustard Sauce
Mix 4 tablespoons of both yellow mustard and plain low-fat yogurt together with 1 ¾ tablespoons of honey.