I adore experimenting in the kitchen; unfortunately, while classes are in session and I’m busy working, I rely on old, no-fail standards such as soup or chicken — or, all too often, Ramen noodles and peanut butter from the jar.
But now that school’s out, I’ve got infinitely more time to attempt new recipes. Summer to me means burgers, but that definition is not strictly limited to the Jimmy Buffett version — the high-calorie, high-cholesterol boulders of ground chuck grilled and blanketed with cheese before being slathered with mayonnaise and butter-drenched bread. While those sorts of concoctions absolutely have their place in my Ugly American diet, sometimes I’d rather opt for lighter options that don’t weigh me down in this miserable heat and will leave me room in my calorie allowance for a refreshing scoop (or four) of ice cream.
The other day I encountered two healthy and unique burger recipes that I immediately wanted to try. One was a blueberry burger — yes, in which whole blueberries are added to the patty mixture. They’re apparently a great way to add moisture as well antioxidants to the meat and work with either beef or turkey. The other was a Greek-style turkey burger.
I decided to debut the latter burger at my latest board game night with my friends because I knew at least one of them was a big fan of Greek food, plus this effortless recipe included none of those intimidating phrases such as “Dutch oven,” “against the grain,” or “candy thermometer” which typically send me furiously flipping to the next page in the cookbook.
These burgers turned out wonderfully; in fact, my Greek-loving friend demolished his in 30 seconds. They are surely going to become a summer staple for me because they were filling and flavorful but still light and fresh.
If you decide to give these a spin, be certain not to skip making the salsa — it’s what really gives the burger the Greek flair, and it made enough extra salsa that I dipped chips in it for dinner the next night.
Greek-Style Turkey Burgers
1 egg white
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1 T. milk
2 t. dried Greek seasoning (Cavender’s works well)
1/4 t. salt
1 lb. ground turkey
Mix all except turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add turkey, mix well and form into four patties. Grill on a well-greased surface. Top with Greek Salsa (recipe below) before placing on toasted whole wheat buns or pita rounds. Serves 4.
2 T. white wine vinegar
2 t. olive oil
1 t. Greek seasoning
1 c. finely chopped tomato
1/4 c. finely chopped cucumber
1/4 c. finely chopped olives
1/2 c. feta cheese, or more to taste
Mix vinegar, oil and seasoning in a medium bowl. Add tomato, cucumber and olives. Stir to coat vegetables in liquid. Lightly stir in cheese. Refrigerate, covered, for at least an hour before serving.
Salter is an English instructor at Mississippi State University. Email Salter at email@example.com .