This time of year the farmer’s markets — if they’re open — are only stocked with apples, root vegetables, and the occasional baked good. Fortunately, you can put one of those root vegetables, fennel, to great use in this turkey burger recipe. Turkey and fennel is a classic combination with the fennel adding a pop of flavor to the turkey. Add some minced garlic, parsley, and an egg for binding and you have an awesome and healthy burger this winter.
Even with a burger this good, you still need to be careful how you cook it. If you don’t have access to an outdoor charcoal grill — and who does in New York anyway — you need a way to sear the outsides to lock in flavor and then cook the inside through without burning the outsides.
For that you’ll need a stainless steel or other non-non stick pan with a cover. Heat the pan to medium high heat, add some oil, and then sear both sides of the burgers for about 2 minutes per side, covered. Meanwhile, light your oven to 350 degrees. When the burgers are seared place the entire pan into the oven for about 5-6 minutes.
If you don’t have one of these pans – buy one. In the mean time, you can broil the burgers to sear and then change the oven to bake at 350 degrees. It should still work. Top with your favorite cheese – or not – and place between some toasted sourdough bread.
Homemade Turkey Burgers
- 1 pound fresh ground turkey
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 fennel bulb or 1 T fennel seeds
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 1 egg
If you're not using pre-ground turkey breast, cut the turkey into cubes and grind it in a food processor. Don't grind it too much; you still want the pieces to be a decent size. Remove to a bowl. Add the peeled garlic, parsley, and roughly chopped fennel bulb to the processor and grind to the same consistency. Remove to the same bowl as the turkey and crack an egg on top, seasoning with salt and pepper. Gently combine with your fingers and form into 4-5 patties. At this point you could freeze any patties you don't want to use.
When the patties are formed, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, and place a stainless steel saute pan on a burner on medium high heat. When it gets fairly hot, add some oil. When the oil shimmers, carefully add the turkey burgers one at a time. Cook, undisturbed and covered, for 2-3 minutes until the bottom of the burgers are nicely seared, and then flip to do the other side.
When both sides are seared place the covered pan directly into the oven and cook 5 minutes until the turkey burgers are cooked through. Add your favorite cheese about 1 minute before they're done if you want. Meanwhile toast some sourdough bread and ready your favorite condiments.