As I mentioned in my container gardening post, I have a plethora of basil. Pesto is always a great way to use some, but it's what to do with the pesto that can pose the problem. Obviously tossing with pasta is an easy way to use it, but I like to shake things up, so I mixed some pesto into ground turkey and made pesto turkey burgers! Topped with a thick slice of tomato, some grilled onions, melted provolone cheese, and a smear of pesto on a toasted bun, you have a mighty fine burger.
Turkey burgers have the reputation of being dry, crumbly, and tasteless, but the pesto certainly solves those problems. The olive oil in the pesto keeps the burgers moist, and of course they taste bright and fresh thanks to the basil and fresh garlic.
If you're looking to mix up your summer grilling, give these a try. Any number of sides - especially grilled vegetables - would go well with this - I went with grilled asparagus caprese salad, and it was a stellar choice. Happy grilling!
Pesto Turkey Burgers
adapted from Oishii Food
adapted from Cook's Illustrated
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 5 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 Tablespoons Italian parsley
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated Pamesan cheese
Process until finely chopped, and add remaining ingredients except cheese. Process until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl, add the cheese, and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- 1/4 cup pesto, plus more for serving
- 1 1/4 lbs ground turkey
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- 4 buns, split open and brushed with olive oil
- 1/2 sweet onion, sliced into thick rings
- 4 tomato slices
In a medium bowl, combine the pesto, ground turkey, Dijon mustard, garlic, and salt and pepper. Lightly but thoroughly mix to combine. Form into 4 equal-sized patties.
Brush the grates of the grill with olive oil, and grill the burgers 4-6 minutes per side, or until cooked through. When the burgers are almost done, top each patty with a slice of cheese, close the grill cover, and cook until the cheese has melted. As the burgers cook, also grill the onions, turning once. Toast the buns on the grill about 1 minute, or until golden-brown.
Top the burgers with lettuce, tomato, and grilled onions. Spread a small amount of pesto on one of the buns and serve.