Cast Iron Pans Cast iron pan owners swear by them for their even dispersal of heat and non stick nature. However, iron is not as happy go lucky as other metals. Initially, the pan must be seasoned with vegetable oil in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for at least an hour. Each time you heat the pan with oil, it will season till it obtains a beautiful dark color. Don't wash off the black patina thinking it is dirty. In fact, never use soap or scour the pan or you will remove the essence of the pan. Dry your iron pan on the stove with medium heat but watch it so it doesn't burn.
This is a turkey burger mixed with a deconstructed pesto, not the kind you put over noodles. Nothing is blended. No green burgers here. But more than that, you get a different flavor with whole pine nuts and chopped basil rather than a puree. Deconstructing the pesto allows you to taste each ingredient individually in the burger, almost creating an entirely different flavor. Plus, I didn't want green burgers lol. This burger turned out so well I decided to share it with everyone who is looking for different ways to enjoy turkey.
Toasting the pine nuts before mixing them with the ground turkey brings out the nutty flavor of the Pignolias. Pine Nuts are very easy to burn so be very careful. I like to use a thick pan on medium heat so good heat is distributed evenly across the cooking surface. Turn the nuts every thirty seconds or so and never take your eyes off them as they tend to burn towards the end of the browning process. Trust me, I've burned more than my fair share of nuts. Once they are done browning, set them aside to cool.
Chop the basil and then mix all the ingredients with the turkey meat including cooled pine nuts, basil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Be careful not to overwork the meat as it will become dense and tough. Form the mixture into loose balls so you can evenly distribute the mixture without overworking the meat. I like to set the meat aside in the refrigerator so the flavors can blend a little but you can put them right on the grill if you like.
Press the balls of meat gently but firmly onto a very hot oiled grill until they are flat. The patties don't need to be perfectly round but make sure they aren't falling apart. It's important the flat top is very hot so you get a good crust without overcooking the center. Heat the grill on medium high for a good while so the patties sizzle when they hit the metal. Remember, crust equals taste but dried out is never good.
When the burgers are cooked through, place them on a ciabatta or other bun of your liking. Potato bread buns are also nice :) I like mayonnaise on this burger. Mustard and ketchup will overpower the taste. I always cringe when my son loads every burger with tons of ketchup. Mayonnaise has a nice light taste that compliments this burger. Along with lettuce, tomato and red onion, it's the perfect combination for turkey.
Serve your burger hot with a nice dill pickle on the side and maybe some chips or homemade french fries.
Toast Pine Nuts
Toast the pine nuts in a thick pan on medium heat. Set aside to cool before mixing with ground turkey meat.
Mix the Ingredients
Mix all the ingredients for the burger, careful not to overwork the meat. Form into even balls of meat.
Heat a flat top or thick pan on medium high heat till it is about to smoke. Add a nice layer of vegetable oil and press the meat balls onto the grill till they are flat. Cook patties till crispy on one side but not overcooked. Flip and repeat.
Serve the turkey burgers on a bun with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and red onion.