Orchard Turkey Burgers

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Not only was Saturday’s Farmer’s Market blissfully uncrowded, but the cool breeze and dreary skies gave me a temporary fall preview without having to actually¬†go there.¬†

Yes, despite almost begging Ben to build me a fire on Saturday evening (I know, but it was seriously kind of cold (ok, debatable) and I was watching The Notebook after all. How romantic would that have been?!) and my returning obsession with hearty fall soups, I am definitely not ready to say goodbye to summer just yet. I still need to drink beer with zoo animals per my summer bucket list!

I can’t say I wouldn’t have shrieked a little if I saw a precious pumpkin or gourd display though, and I totally did a happy dance after spying some sweet apple barrels at a few market stalls that definitely weren’t there the last time we went.

Apple picking is one of my all-time favorite fall activities, and the reminder that a U-pick trip can’t be more than a few weeks away inspired me to whip up a healthy, flavor-packed meal of Orchard Turkey Burgers with Brie & Caramelized Onions!

OrchardTurkeyBurgerswithBrieandCaramelizedOnions

Lean turkey burgers are spiked with juicy grated apple then topped with melty brie cheese, sweet caramelized onions, and tangy Honey Mustard Vinaigrette. This tasted like a restaurant dish!

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Cheese and apples are absolutely dynamite together, and when you add caramelized onions into the mix?! I can’t even! Turkey burgers have seriously never tasted better.

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Start the Orchard Turkey Burgers by caramelizing the onions that will sit on top all glorious like.

I feel the need to defend and heartily promote caramelized onions any chance I get, as slow cooking onions over medium-low heat turns them into sweet, candy-like sticky threads of lusciousness. They instantly make anything you add them to taste infintely better. That’s a fact!

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You’ll need 1 JUMBO-sized sweet onion, or 2 large ones, for 4 burgers. Just trim off the ends, cut it in half, discard the outer peel, and thinly slice each half.

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Next, heat 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a large pot or skillet over medium heat and add the sliced onion. It’s important not to go above medium heat or the onions will burn instead of caramelize.

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Season the onions with salt and a little bit of pepper (plus a dash of sugar if you can’t find super-sweet onions!) then let them do their thang, stirring everyone now and again, until they’re a dark caramel color. Finally, place ‘em in a bowl and set aside. The whole process will take about 20-25 minutes.

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While the onions are slow cooking, get to work on the burger part of the Orchard Turkey Burgers, starting with 1lb 99% Fat Free Ground Turkey Breast. Sometimes I find 99% FFGTB to be dry, bland, and boring, but we’re going to spice it up and make it extra juicy with a few mix ins.

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First – zee spices: 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder, and LOTS of salt and pepper. Lots of it!

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Then 1 grated Granny Smith Apple. Oh yes. We’re putting apples IN our burgers to keep it nice and moist. It’s so good!

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Use a box or flat grater to finely grate the apple, one side at a time. It takes like, 2 minutes total. No big deal. I just typed no bid geal.

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Add the grated apple to the ground turkey and spices, then mix well, and divide the mixture into 4 sections to make sure each patty is exactly the same size.

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Form each section into a patty, then brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil. This is a must for 2 reasons: 1.) It helps keep the burgers nice and juicy, and 2.) IT TASTES SO GOOD. It really does. Don’t skip it!

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Slap the patties onto a skillet (or grill) over medium-heat and cook for 4-5 minute a side, or until they’re no longer pink in the center.

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Next, bust out the brie. Triple Cream, muwahahaha! Ahem! Sorry. The lady at Whole Foods got me all excited about this Lincet Delice de Bourgogne (translation: freaking awesome brie,) and for good reason. It is thick, creamy, and drippy. YUM!

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Smear a bit of brie onto the tops of the burgers, then tent with foil (or lower the grill lid) and let the cheese melt – it won’t take long.

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Pile each burger high with caramelized onions then serve on a bun or bed of spring mix lettuce lined with extra apple slices (here’s how I slice them nice and uniform.) Drizzle with honey mustard vinaigrette and finish with a crack of fresh black pepper. THE BEST!

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Orchard Turkey Burgers

Print this recipe!

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 jumbo sweet onion, cut in half then sliced thin
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1lb 99% fat-free ground turkey breast
2 Granny Smith apples, 1 finely grated, 1 sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
salt & pepper
3-4oz brie cheese
8 cups spring mix lettuce OR 4 buns
Honey Mustard Vinaigrette (I used Annie’s Lite HMV)

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Add onions, season with salt and a little bit of pepper, then cook, stirring every so often until onion reaches a dark caramel brown color, about 20-25 minutes. Remov
  2. Meanwhile, combine ground turkey with grated apple, dried thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and lots of salt and pepper. Form the mixture into 4 patties then brush each side with extra virgin olive oil and cook over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes a side, or until no longer pink in the center. Top each burger with brie, then tent with foil to melt.
  3. Divide lettuce amongst plates then top with apple slices, burgers, and caramelized onions. Drizzle with honey mustard vinaigrette and serve.

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If you have never tasted melty brie with a crisp apple and sweet caramelized onions, stop reading. Go to the grocery store, and make this dish. It is sensational!

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Really fancy looking too, without all that much effort. Tell your spouse, friends or family that you slaved and deserve some sort of reward in the form of a foot rub, fro yo run, or watering your garden for you.

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I used to water after returning home from my morning mom walk around 6am, but now it’s still dark at that time and who’s going to water in the dark, so I have to go back out later in the day, which is annoying me to no end (I know.)

The cucumbers owe the miniature watermelon and baby brussels sprouts big time for keeping me coming back. Look how adorable they are – I can’t get enough!

Just kidding I would never abandon my garden. I’m doubling down next year- yeehaw!

Daily Escape – Palouse Hills

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The Palouse Hills in southern Washington is a farming region characterized by it’s rolling hills and valleys, created during the ice age. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think this was a photo of central Italy! I’ll be sure to pass through on the Palouse Scenic Byway if I’m…

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