Hamburgers are so central to American cuisine that messing with them can seem almost sacrilegious. And it's kind of perilous to boot. Replace rich beef with low-fat turkey, as in this recipe, and you risk creating a drier, less flavorful burger, a burger unworthy of the name. Here I've countered the moisture problem with vegetables. The sauteed onion and red pepper in the burger and the salsa on top of the burger make up for any dryness in the turkey. The Creole seasoning, in combination with the salsa, makes up for turkey's relative lack of flavor. I'm not the kind of diet-conscious eater who reflexively reaches for the low-fat alternative to every dish, but this low-fat burger is really delicious and satisfying.
- 12 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
- 1/2 cup cooked fresh corn or thawed frozen corn kernels
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon store-bought or homemade Creole spice mix
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound ground turkey
- Freshly ground black pepper
To make the salsa: Toss the tomatoes with the salt and drain in a colander for 15 minutes. Combine the tomatoes, corn, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, and olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss well.
To make the burgers: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper and cook, until softened, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Combine the onion, pepper, Creole spice mix, salt, and turkey in a large bowl. Season with pepper. Mix well and form into 4 large patties. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Place the burgers in the skillet and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven and cook until firm to the touch, about 6 minutes. Serve topped with the salsa and with Ruthie's Summer Camp Zucchini and Oven Baked Rosemary Chips