Little turkey & courgette burgers

Little turkey & courgette burgers

1Why is it that things appeal to me more when they are tiny? I’m sure I’m not the only one. Maybe it’s because you can pick up these little burgers very easily without risking the juices dripping all over your hands and face, as with a big beef burger. Or because you get to eat 4, not 1, and so can play with what you plonk in each bun.

These tasty turkey burgers come from my till-I-die favourite cookbook, Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem, and I think they’d be a great recipe for someone to get started with when they buy this book, or who is a bit frightened by the long lists of ingredients often included in recipes. It was also an incredibly easy and familiar process, and everyone know what burgers are supposed to look like! So I’d recommend this recipe to anyone who’s a little unconfident in the kitchen. (Dad are you reading?!)

I’ve only slightly altered the recipe, mostly because I already had loads of fresh basil that had seen happier days and needed using. I swapped cayenne for chilli flakes, I also added an extra egg to bind the mixture as it didn’t feel like it was sticky enough to form into patties with just the one. The only other point worth mentioning is that Ottolenghi’s recipe didn’t specify whether to use turkey breast or thigh meat. Having not really cooked with turkey before, and certainly not turkey mince, I didn’t know this choice was available! I plumped for thigh and think it was the right decision – burgers are designed to be juicy, not dry and these really were.
I served these burgers with mini buns, some lettuce and a yoghurt dip that just contained 200g of natural yoghurt, 1/2 a crushed garlic clove, 5 chopped basil leaves, 1 tspn of sumac, the juice of 1/2 a lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.

You will need:

500g free range turkey thigh mince
2 large free range eggs
4 spring onions, finely sliced (use most of the the green and all of the white bits)
1 large courgette, grated
1 handful of chopped coriander
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tspn cumin
1 tspn chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
A little groundnut oil
Salt, pepper


1 – Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
2 – Grab a big bowl and mix together all of the ingredients listed, bar the oil, and season pretty well
3 – Use your hands to shape the mince mix into 12-14 even-sized flat balls (then wash your hands!)
4 – Take a large baking sheet and line it with grease proof paper – this is for you to place your fried burgers on
5 – Now, heat a little oil in a large flat-bottomed frying pan set over a medium-high heat
6 – Add the burgers carefully to the pan, 4 or 5 at a time, and fry for a couple of minutes on each side so they nicely brown before setting onto the baking sheet; repeat until all of the burgers are browned
7 – Now transfer the baking sheet with your browned burgers into the oven for around 5-7 minutes
8 – After this time, remove the burgers form the oven and grab a fresh sheet of grease proof paper; transfer the burgers on to the new sheet (and get rid of the fat that eeks out of the burgers during their first stint in the oven), flipping them over in the process, and pop back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until nicely browned all over.
9 – Serve immediately with buns, salad and yoghurt sauce or mayo


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