Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mini Turkey Basil Burgers

It's been a busy month-relatives visiting, visiting relatives, cleaning the house so that the relatives won't drown in a sea of dog and cat fur, tearing down and rebuilding garages, pulling weeds. Cooking hasn't really been on the agenda.

Then Eric came home with a ziploc bag of beautiful basil leaves that some wonderful person gave him, and I knew they couldn't go to waste. Salad? Did that. Pesto? Too rich. So today when I looked into the fridge for inspiration, the basil told me what to do. Once again I bowed down to the food processor god and gave thanks for making pretty much everything I eat possible. I just love watching a red pepper mixed with basil whirl around into a gorgeous Christmasey paste. I love being able to hide 3 kinds of vegetables in a burger so that Eric goes for seconds before I reveal that he's actually eaten mushrooms and peppers and spinach.

Some of the ingredients are most likely optional, since I just threw them in the mix on a whim. I've been reading about nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute (it's supposed to sort of taste like cheese) and since I just bought it yesterday I thought I'd try it out. You can't really tell what it tastes like with so many other ingredients, but I'm planning to experiment with it and ume plum vinegar soon.

Mini Turkey Basil Burgers

8 oz. pkg baby bella mushrooms
1 cup basil (loosely packed)
1/2 cup baby spinach (loosely packed)*
1 red pepper
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup oats
1 tsp nutritional yeast*
1 tsp ume plum vinegar*
1 lb. ground turkey thigh
1 egg, beaten
olive oil

Finely chop everything except the ground turkey in the food processor. Unless you have a large food processor, it's probably best to do it in batches. I put all the veggies in first, then put them in a bowl, then threw all the dry ingredients in.

Mash the vegetables and dry ingredients with the turkey thigh and the egg. Shape into small patties. They break apart fairly easily, so it's just easier if they're smaller.

Heat a little olive oil to a large cast iron pan. Put a pinch of the mixture in the pan. When it starts to sizzle, it's safe to add the patties. Cook on medium heat, turning the patties when they are brown.

Serve with tomatoes. Eric had his with ketchup.

*totally optional

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