Pesto turkey burgers...first I have to say, "Duh." I forgot to take a picture of this burger. The camera was even sitting right there on the kitchen counter. Why must I be so hungry at mealtimes??? I get hungry and all I can think about is eating the food, not taking pictures of it. I really wonder how people with successful blogs do it. Do they have to make the dish more than once because they are too famished to remember to snap a pic?? Well, if I'm going to mess up and forget to take a photo of something is might as well have been this burger. Looking at it, it doesn't look different from any other meat patty.
I found the recipe on a blog called Oishii. In case you didn't know, oishii is Japanese for delicious. You'd better believe this Turkey Pesto burger was oishii...totemo oishii. I did have to make a slight variation though...you know I always do. I used store bought pesto.
Hopefully you have recovered from your shock and horror of this dreadful admission. I did have every intention of making pesto from scratch. First, both of my Basil plants have not fared well. The purple one is dead dead dead. The regular basil is struggling and only has a few salvageable leaves. My uncle gave me several basil plants but they are all seedlings still. Hopefully, at least one of them will thrive enough for me to make at least one batch of pesto from scratch.
Anyhow, so I thought I'd just pick up a bunch of basil from the grocery store. Um no. They sell bunches of mint, parsley and cilantro. The basil is in a little clam shell plastic container. I would have needed to buy at least 6 of them. No way. The jar of premade pesto cost less than one package of basil. Insane!!!
This recipe was so super easy, esp since I used the store bought pesto. I just took four spoonfuls from my handy dandy jar of Classico Basil Pesto Sauce and mixed them up with a pound of ground turkey. That's it!
The original plan was make this before we went to go visit my mom in Minnesota ,but our leftovers stretched out a day longer than I expected. The ground turkey had already been sitting in the fridge for several days, and I thought it might exceed its life expectancy if it was left there too much longer. I had done something moronic and let chicken defrost on that same plate. Well, as you can imagine, the chicken got its salmonillariffic juices on the ground turkey wrapper, so refreezing the turkey was not really an option. So, I mixed up the burgers, formed them into individual patties and popped the patties in the freezer.
I took the burgers out the night before we were going to eat them. By the next day they were still partially frozen. Mrblocko said that he thought this was a good thing. The burgers were very moist when I shaped them. I think their slightly frozen state helped keep them from falling apart on the grill. Mrblocko thought that he might have over cooked them, but if he did, they were not dry in the least. The next time I make these, if I freeze them first, I'll be sure to give them a light coating of olive oil as they stuck a bit on the grill.
Pesto Turkey burgers from Oishii
2-3 cups of basil leaves, washed and dried*
a big handful of walnut pieces, lightly toasted in a skillet
1 clove of garlic
a handful of Parmesan cheese
juice of 1/2 a lime
about 1/4 cup of olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1 lb. ground turkey
hamburger buns of your choice
1 sweet white onion, sliced into thick rings
First, make the pesto: Combine the basil, mizuna (if using), walnuts, garlic, Parmesan, and lime juice in a food processor. Process until smooth. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil, until it reaches a good consistency. Season with salt & pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Pour pesto into a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate until use (Makes about 1 cup – more than needed for the burgers, but you can freeze it if you want).
Place the ground turkey in a large bowl. Season the top with salt & pepper. Add 3 or 4 heaping spoonfuls of pesto to the bowl. Mix with your hands until pesto is incorporated into the meat. Divide meat into 4-5 portions (depending on how thick you like your burgers), form patties, and place on a plate. Cover and chill while you prepare the grill.
Brush the tops and bottoms of the buns with olive oil and set aside. Brush onion slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Grill onions until nice and charred, about 3-4 minutes on each side.
Grill burgers about 4-5 minutes on each side. When the burgers are almost done, grill the tops and bottoms of the buns until golden and toasty.