Posts Tagged ‘turkey salad’

turkey burger high


I suppose this dish is just a continuation of my current turkey craze. Maybe it’s because we see so many along the roads here in Marin where I live. (My son and I even named one who frequents our neighborhood, Herbert, although I’m pretty certain “he” is a “she.”) Or maybe it’s because I’m impressed at how relatively healthy turkey meat is–especially given its economical price.

At any rate, these “burgers” are incredibly flavorful and juicy and pair perfectly with a tzatziki sauce. You could make the “burgers” more burger-sized and serve each one on a lightly-toasted sesame bun–with or without the tzatziki, or make them smaller and serve two or three over a bed of crisp lettuce with a little tzatziki on top like I like to do. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

turkey burger close


Like most of my recipes, this is easy to prepare without being so easy and plain that it’s pedestrian. These burgers also reheat well, so you can make enough for two meals. The actual burger recipe is from the gorgeous book Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. 9781607743941_p0_v1_s260x420The tzatziki recipe is my own. If you haven’t picked up a copy of this cookbook, you should. Most of the dishes are very straightforward and easy to prepare. I’ve loved everything I’ve cooked so far from the book, and the text and mouthwatering photographs make it an incredible read. As a side note: Ottolenghi was one of the first places I discovered when I moved to London. It was on a narrow crooked street in Kensington that I just happened upon. It wasn’t a sit-down restaurant–just a patisserie-style take-out place that also offered catering. Every single dish I bought from the tiny shop was amazing.





1 lb ground turkey (white or dark meat)

1 large zucchini, coarsely grated (1 1/2 to 2 cups)

3 green onions, the white parts and a little of the green, thinly sliced

1 large organic egg (or egg substitute if you have allergies)

2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped

2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp freshly-ground pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

sunflower oil for searing



1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 a large cucumber, peeled and grated

1 tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tbsp high-quality olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper

1-2 tsp sumac

*If you’re making tzatziki for a more special occasion, I recommend 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt and 1/2 cup sour cream. If you’re using it on grilled vegetables or chicken, you can add 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill instead of the sumac.



Start by making the tzatziki. Combine all the ingredients for the tzatziki, except the sumac, in a small bowl and chill until needed.


turkey raw


Preheat the oven to 425F. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the burgers except the sunflower oil. Mix well until everything is evenly incorporated. Using your hands, shape the mixture into approximately 12 burgers–2-3 inches in diameter.

Pour sunflower oil into a large cast-iron skillet until the bottom is covered with a 1/16-inch layer. Heat over medium heat then place the burgers in and brown them on both sides (approximately 2-3 minutes per side). Transfer the burgers to a parchment lined baking sheet or broiler pan and place in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until just cooked through.

Serve warm on a bun or on a bed of lettuce. Spoon a little of the tzatziki over the top and sprinkle the sumac on top of the sauce. Serve the extra sauce on the side.

Serves 4 to 6.

Happy eating!

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This salad may not seem like the type of meal you associate with the cooling days, chilly nights and falling leaves. However, I spent many an evening eating this salad during the cold, dark winter months of the year I lived in the Netherlands.

My husband and I always looked forward to Friday evenings when we would head out on the bicycle–he on the seat pedaling, me sitting side saddle on the flat rack above the rear wheel, in route to “the spa.” We’d bounce over the cobblestones along the oudergracht (old canal) of our town. Unlike the American notion of a spa, spas in the Netherlands (and much of Europe) are places men and women go to relax, socialize and just hang out. Ours had a steam room, sauna and plunge pools, but mainly it was just an excuse to go somewhere really warm, don a plush bathrobe, sit by a roaring fire and eat good food.

We ordered this salad every time, and usually followed it with a really decadent creamy mousse thing with cherries known as monchoutaart. (I suspect eating a salad for dinner made us think we had license to eat a ridiculously fattening and sweet dessert.)

We still eat this salad on a regular basis. Not only does it meet my “medley of tastes, textures and colors” requirement, but it is very nutritious, substantial enough for a dinner (or heavy lunch), and it’s easy to prepare.


red leaf or bibb lettuce, torn into bite size pieces

2 stalks of celery, leaves included, chopped

1 medium-sized cucumber, peeled and sliced, or 3-4 Persian cucumbers if you can get them

8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 leek, white and light green parts thinly sliced and washed carefully

Deli-style or similar thin-sliced roast turkey breast

cranberry sauce/jelly


1/2 cup olive oil

1/8 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

sea salt and pepper to taste


Of course, you can make the salad however you like, but I like to arrange the salad as follows. Put the lettuce on a plate, sprinkle the cucumber slices and tomatoes around the outside edge, sprinkle the entire thing with the sliced leaks, fold the sliced turkey in the middle, top with the cranberry sauce and drizzle all with the dressing.

Happy Fall!

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