The Turkey Burger That Changed My Life

ImageDo you regularly cook foods for people in your family that you yourself don't eat? I do. Turkey burgers.

I just don't get it. Jeff was raised on good old fashioned beef patties. Yet, given the choice today, he invariably chooses turkey over beef. I, in contrast, am a 100% grass-fed beef kind of gal. I prefer beef's tender texture and rich flavor. With the right beef, a burger is delicious even without condiments. (Not that I'm suggesting you do that.)

So when we have burgers, I usually make Jeff a turkey burger and me a hamburger. The last turkey burger I made for him, I topped with sauteed apples, Gruyere cheese, and sage mayo.

After the first bite, he said, "Oh, God, this is good."

I nodded, smiled, and took a big bite out of my hamburger. He took another bite. "Sue, seriously, you've gotta taste this turkey burger. It's awesome."

"But, I don't like turk--"

"Just one bite. Come on."

I took a small bite. It was a revelation! I liked it. I took a larger bite. I loved it! The warm, tart apples, sweet, salty Gruyere, and creamy sage mayo made this turkey burger seem, well, not like a turkey burger. I took a bigger bite.

"Um, how much of my turkey burger are you gonna eat, hon?" Jeff asked me.

I slid the plate with my hamburger towards him, smiled, and took another bite of his turkey burger.

Delicious Turkey Burger with Apples, Gruyere, and Sage Mayo
Makes 2 burgers.

I highly recommend washing down these turkey burgers with a cold, strong beer, such as Guinness or a good Ocktoberfest.

Sage Mayo:
2 tablespoons mayo
2 teaspoons stone ground or spicy mustard
3-4 small sage leaves, minced

10-12 ounces lean ground turkey
a generous amount of salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 small tart apple, thinly sliced, such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced
2 ciabatta rolls, or other rolls of your choice

1. In a small bowl, stir all ingredients for sage mayo; set aside.

2. Place turkey in a bowl. Season with several shakes of salt and black pepper. Mix in Dijon. Form two equal sized burgers. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add burgers. Cook 3-4 minutes per side, until browned on the outside and cooked all the way through.

3. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add onions. Saute 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add apples. Saute 3-5 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender. Season with salt and black pepper. Remove from heat.

4. Once burgers are almost done, top each with 1 ounce of cheese. To assemble burgers, spread half the sage mayo on the inside of a roll. Place burger on the bottom half of the roll, and top with half the onion-apple mixture. Close the sandwich. Repeat. Serve hot.


Susan Russo is a free lance food writer in San Diego, California. She publishes stories, recipes, and photos on her cooking blog, <Food Blogga and is a regular contributor to NPR’s <Kitchen Window. She is also the author of two upcoming books that will be published in the fall of 2010.