Monday, May 14, 2012

Herbed Turkey Burgers with Kale Pesto

On a particularly excellent episode of FOX's animated series Bob's Burgers last week, Bob's burger special of the day was "If Looks Could Kale", and I found myself desiring a fictional punny foodstuff something fierce. I devised my own "If Looks Could Kale" burger tonight, although the kale aspect was only a hit with 1/2 of the household, namely me. Other household half proclaimed the pesto to be too "raw", unsurprising as he views all non-basil-based pestos as an abomination. I happen to love the raw, darkly vegetal flavor of kale, though. I look forward to stirring the leftover pesto into some toothsome whole-wheat linguine down the road.

Owlbert plate by Rachel Kozlowski

Kale Pesto
Makes about 1/2 cup
*Overflowing handful of chopped kale leaves, ribs removed
*1/4 packed cup of baby spinach
*1 garlic clove
*2 tablespoons raw pepitas
*1/2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
*1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (or enough to thin out to desired constancy)
*A squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Parboil kale for about 6-7 minutes, shock with cold water, drain, and then squeeze kale dry of any liquid. Whiz kale, spinach, S&P, pepitas and garlic in a mini food processor and add olive oil in a steady stream until you've reached desired consistency and taste.  Add Parmesan cheese and pulse until combined, and then mix in a squeeze of lemon juice.

Herbed Turkey Burgers
Makes 4 patties

*1 lb ground turkey (the best ground turkey I've found locally is from Lindenhof Farm, who frequently sends envoys to the West Chester Growers Market).
*A couple teaspoons finely minced or grated shallot
*2 pressed or finely minced garlic cloves
*Heaping teaspoons a'piece of minced rosemary, parsley and thyme
*Slices of good Swiss cheese
*Hamburger buns of your choice

In a bowl, gently squelch together the turkey meat, shallot, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Try not to overwork the meat, though. Shape into 4 patties and crack some more pepper + a sprinkle of kosher salt over them as they sit. Heat a cast iron pan to between medium and medium-high and add a good slick of high smoke point oil. Once the oil is hot, lay the burgers in and cook undisturbed approximately 5 minutes per side or until just cooked through. With one minute left, add the cheese slices on top to melt and then toast your buns lightly.

I spread about a tablespoon of the pesto on the bottom bun, laid the cheesed burger on top, and then topped with some sliced avocado. I realize that adding another greenstuff compromises the integrity of "If Looks Could Kale", but I advocate for avocados as choice topping for every turkey burger. Other household half used his favorite BBQ sauce. To each his own!

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