Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

We celebrated the second night of Burger Week on Monday. If you have been following the schedule, you’d know that means it was time for turkey burgers. I’m a little late writing this review so I will keep it short and sweet along with the recipe. I served crudites with tzatziki and a simple Greek salad with feta alongside the burgers. 

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers with Feta and Tzatziki

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers with Feta and Tzatziki

Again, the burgers came together very easily, even easier than the previous night. I added a bit more feta to the burgers than what was called for and, in typical Canadian Baconette fashion, I used reduced-fat feta instead of regular. Also, while the recipe calls for pita bread as the vehicle for the burger, I decided to use English muffins. Thomas’s makes a great 100 calorie English muffin that is just as good as it’s higher calorie brother and is even the same size! Score.

After I mixed up the patties, I cooked them on my George Foreman grill. I’ve used a few different methods for cooking turkey burgers and I find the George Foreman to be the best. Having dual-sided heat cooks the burger quickly through to the center without giving it much air time to dry out. Dryness is often the biggest downfall of turkey burgers for me.

Taste: 5. This burger was just a little too salty for me. Feta often creates a lot of saltiness in food where it’s a predominant ingredient so I should have known not to include extra salt as called for in the recipe. I would not use any additional salt next time and instead let it come through from the feta. The taste of the burger itself was good but not great. It had that middle of the road taste that wasn’t bland but could have been stronger.
Creativity: 7. I’ve never had pesto in a burger or panko either. It was especially nice that this burger was a healthy combination of ingredients I always have on hand and some special things. I especially liked this with the English muffin bun.
Appearance: 5. This burger looked like a burger you would get at any restaurant serving healthier versions of burgers. It didn’t have that greasy glow that I have come to know and love about a burger. There was nothing shiny about this meat and, to be honest, I missed that.
Burgerliciousness: 6. The English muffin bun was great! I loved the crunch which is not something you always get in a burger. The texture of the patty was right but it was a little dry which is something I have come to expect from a turkey burger.
Overall: 5.75.

All things considered, this is a solid turkey burger recipe. I might make it again but I would add more moisture next time. I was thinking that turkey meat would lend itself well to a burger made with cranberries which would add some moisture to the meat. I was also thinking that this drier patty would have been outstanding with the goat cheese spread we had on the bison burgers because that would have helped to add moisture as well. Below is the recipe as it was published in Cooking Light without any of my modifications or method of cooking.

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon minced red onion
2 tablespoons  ommercial pesto
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey breast
1 garlic clove, minced
Cooking spray
2 cups  arugula
2 (6-inch) whole-wheat pitas, toasted and halved

Combine first 8 ingredients in a bowl; mix until combined. Divide panko mixture into 4 portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick oval patty. Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Place 1 patty and 1/2 cup arugula in each pita half.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 303
Fat: 8.8g (sat 2.9g,mono 4.1g,poly 0.8g)
Protein: 33g
Carbohydrate: 24.3g
Fiber: 3g
Cholesterol: 56mg
Iron: 1.9mg
Sodium: 595mg
Calcium: 101mg
Barbara Lauterbach, Cooking Light, APRIL 2009

I served the burgers with a tzatziki sauce made with Greek yogurt and cucumber and crudites for dipping. I ended up putting it in the blender to make the flavors come together and, in hindsight, this was a bad idea. It liquified the yogurt. If I’d had more time or was serving a crowd to impress, I would have started over but this was fine for myself and the boy. We also had a filling side salad to go with the burgers.

Greek Salad with Feta

Greek Salad with Feta

The salad had Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes (halved), red onion, cucumber and feta cheese with Greek dressing. I made the dressing from equal parts olive oil and lemon juice with lots of oregano, a bit of salt and a pinch of pepper mixed in. This is my favorite way to eat Greek salad. The dressing is delicious yet simple and coats the Romaine quite nicely.

Next up: veggie!


~ by canadianbaconette on May 6, 2009.

2 Responses to “Mediterranean Turkey Burgers”

  1. sounds really delicious… Laila …

    • Thank you! They were. Don’t be turned off by my terrible photos. 🙂

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