Grilled Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Smoky Aioli

Cover recipe- Bon Appetit, Grilled Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Smoky Aioli: August 2009

I love this cover of Bon Appetit… just a simple photograph of this really delicious-looking burger, labeled with the title of being The Ultimate Turkey Burger.  That’s a pretty big title to live up to, right?  This recipe was placed into a section of the magazine called, “fast easy fresh,” quick dishes for every-night cooking from the Bon Appetit test kitchen.

I’ve tried so many different burger recipes, and many of them have been turkey burgers.  I was pretty excited to try this “ultimate” version- Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Smoky Aioli– to see if it was the real deal.   A simple Moroccan-spiced aioli is mixed in with the ground turkey to keep the burgers moist and give them tons of flavor.  A Healthy Bites tip shares that cumin seeds (in the turkey burger’s aioli) are a good source of iron and magnesium. Research has also shown that they aid digestion.  See my notes below to see if my family thought this burger lived up to its promise of being “ultimate.”

Print Recipe

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Cheddar & Smoky Aioli

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 30 min + chill time

Cook Time: 20 min

Ingredients:

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 pound ground dark-meat turkey
4 (1/3-inch-thick) red onion slices
1 large or 2 small red bell peppers, quartered
4 slices white cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
4 sesame-seed hamburger buns
arugula
pickle wedges
corn chips

Directions:

1.  Toast cumin seeds and coriander seeds in small skillet over medium-high heat until aromatic and slightly darker in color, shaking skillet often, about 1 1/2 minutes. Cool. Finely grind toasted seeds in spice grinder or in mortar with pestle. Whisk mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, smoked paprika, garlic, and ground spices in small bowl. Season aioli to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Aioli can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
2. 
Place turkey in medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons aioli; mix gently. Using damp hands, divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, then form each into scant 3/4-inch-thick patty, about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Using thumb, make small indentation in center of each burger. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
3. 
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Sprinkle burgers with salt and pepper. Brush onion slices and bell pepper pieces with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill onions and bell peppers until soft and charred, about 4 minutes per side.
4.  Grill turkey burgers 5 minutes. Turn over; grill until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes. Top each burger with 1 cheese slice and grill until meat is cooked through and cheese melts, about 1 minute longer. Place 1 turkey burger on each of 4 bun bottoms. Arrange grilled red pepper pieces, then grilled red onion slices over. Top each with dollop of aioli and some arugula. Cover burgers with bun tops and serve with pickle wedges and corn chips.

Tips:

*I don't have a spice grinder, but a mortar and pestle worked just fine in grinding the seeds.
*Dark meat turkey was nowhere to be found in my market.  I went with Jennie-O ground turkey, but I didn't get the leanest kind.
*I opted for sharp white cheddar cheese.
*One pound of ground turkey was a little bit skimpy for this recipe.  I would have liked my burgers to be more substantial.  I'd probably toss in more ground turkey next time.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1 burger
Calories per serving: 657
Fat per serving: 45g
Saturated Fat per serving: 10g
Fiber per serving: 2g
Protein per serving: 36g
Cholesterol per serving: 109mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 24g

Source:  Bon Appetit, August 2009

The results:

I loved everything about this burger… from the grilled vegetables and spicy arugula to the smoky aoili and the spices in the burger too… so good. I couldn’t stop tasting the aioli… it was delicious! Was it the “Ultimate” turkey burger?  Definitely, maybe.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Yes!  What a wonderful recipe to celebrate the summer season.  It was refreshing to see a burger with a bit of alternative spice incorporated into the sauce, and the addition of grilled veggies made it phenomenal.