Saturday, May 19, 2012

Roasted Garlic Turkey Florentine Burgers

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Recently I joined the local cooking club at Whole Foods, and was invited to enter a recipe contest for the best non-beef burger.  I immediately knew what I wanted to make – our turkey florentine burger, made with ground turkey, spinach and cheese.  We first came up with it a few years ago after I saw turkey florentine meatballs on the Food Network, and it was an immediate hit.

For the contest, though, I knew I had to take it up a level.  Roasted garlic brings a savory rich flavor to the burger, while grated sweet Vidalia onion adds moisture and a little tang.  Using chopped fresh spinach instead of frozen was a big improvement in texture and appearance, not to mention quicker and easier since I didn’t have to defrost or drain the spinach.  The final accent of a creamy slice of fontina cheese, fresh spinach leaves and roasted garlic aioli brought all the flavors together into one of the best burgers I have ever eaten!

051912 - 12Roasted garlic may sound fancy, but it’s really easy.  All you have to do is slice the top off of a head of garlic, drizzle on a bit of olive oil, and wrap in foil.  Bake at 400 for 30-45 minutes, until soft and golden.  Just squeeze it to pop out the cloves.  It will keep up to a week in the fridge.

Roasted garlic is incredibly versatile – try it on crostini, or stirred into pasta sauce or your favorite dip.  The roasting really sweetens it and mellows out the sharp flavor of fresh garlic.


Roasted Garlic Turkey Florentine Burgers

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Serves 2


For the burgers:

  • 3/4 lb ground white turkey
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/8 medium sweet Vidalia onion, grated
  • 1/4 cup shredded Italian cheese
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • Sliced fontina cheese and fresh spinach leaves for topping
  • 2 burger buns (pictured – Against the Grain Gluten-Free Rolls)

For the roasted garlic aioli:

  • 3/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 head roasted garlic
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice


Combine the aioli ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth (I used my Magic Bullet, it’s great for small amounts).  Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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Put the turkey in a bowl and add the chopped spinach and garlic cloves.  Grate in the onion and add the cheese, then combine with your hands and form into 2 patties.  Let the patties chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes (this will help them stay intact on the grill).

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Grill over medium to medium-high heat until their internal temp is 165, approx 5 mins per side.  Top with sliced cheese during the last minute. 

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Spread roasted garlic aioli on the top bun and add spinach leaves.  Serve immediately and accept the many compliments graciously Smile 

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Hubs grilled up some zucchini and grape tomatoes along with the burgers (tip – thread tomatoes lengthwise onto the skewers for better maneuverability).  We served them up with Ore Ida fries because you just can’t have a burger without fries in my opinion! 

These were even better than I expected, the garlic really made the flavor pop. I think the key was the Whole Foods white ground turkey – pretty reasonably priced at $5.99/lb.  Bonus is you can get exactly what you need since it’s sold out of the case, not in packages.  We will definitely be having these again soon!

If these look good to you, please show me some love on the Whole Foods website – you never know, you might help me win!

*Update – my burger won!  Especial thanks to everyone who voted for me.  You can read all about Whole Foods’ opinion and see how much prettier they made it on my recent post about becoming a contest finalist.  I hope that you give them a try Smile

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