Mediterranean Turkey Burger / by Cynthia Raub

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When Amy delivered her second baby almost two years ago, (?! Sniff!), I was in the throes of an obsession with burger patties. Lamb burgers, black bean burgers, salmon burgers, turkey burgers - I loved them all and made them with fierce frequency. A few days after she delivered her beautiful (and huge) bundle of sweetness, I brought these turkey burgers over for her family, with a side salad and dessert. She was the first mama I knew who delivered a baby after I had my own, and it was the first newborn meal I ever gifted. I think back to that day, and I think that's when the spark for intentionally sharing food with frequency began for me. She was grateful as the burden of preparing dinner was lifted, and I was so happy to help in that small way. Since then, I have brought new mamas meals like Harissa Grilled Pork Loin Chops and Swiss Chard and Leek Crostata, but these turkey burgers have a special place in my heart . . . and stomach. I still make them often because they are easy to prepare, delicious, and perfect for sharing with others. These are also a fantastic option for holiday barbecues and parties for anyone looking for a (seemingly) healthier burger!

Notes: Most beef burger recipes will recommend to work the ground meat mixture as little as possible so that the patty remains tender and loose. Because of all of the additional ingredients in this patty, I recommend a through mixing of the ingredients so that the patty is solid and does not fall apart during cooking or eating! These are perfect for preparing in a large batch and freezing for future meals. It's an easy recipe to scale up, and it takes just a little more time to form the extra patties. They are even delicious as meatballs and cooked in tomato sauce!

Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 5-7 patties

1.5 lbs ground turkey
1/2 cup (about 8 ounces) chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil

In a medium microwave safe bowl, thaw frozen chopped spinach by covering the bowl with plastic wrap and nuking for 1 minute on 80% power. Spinach should be warm and thawed. Scatter spinach on a clean kitchen towel (or several layers of quality paper towels) to absorb the water. Gather the edges of the towel and wring out the liquid, drying completely. Loosen spinach into small pieces.

In a large bowl, combine turkey, spinach, feta, sun dried tomatoes, kosher salt, black pepper, oregano, paprika and olive oil. Mix ingredients with clean hands, distributing all of the ingredients throughly.

Depending on the size of your buns, use a 1/3 or 1/2 cup measuring cup to portion out patties. Scoop mixture into your hands and flatten to make a patty, smoothing out the rough edges. Create a shallow indention in the center of your patties, as the center tends to expand while cooking.

To cook: Heat a griddle, grill pan, or cast iron pan on medium-high and add enough neutral oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil begins to shimmer, carefully lay patties onto the pan, to avoid splattering oil. Don't crowd the pan! Crowding the pan will result in steamed and pale-looking patties. To avoid overcooking, brown the patty on the first side until cooked 2/3 of the way through, about 3-4 minutes. Flip over and finish cooking on the second side, about 2 minutes.

Serving suggestion: whole wheat hamburger buns, sliced tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise