Who doesn’t love a hamburger? It’s great all year round, kid friendly, user friendly, picky-eater friendly and of course foodie friendly.
Harvey’s (Canadian fast-food chain) has really hit the spot with their new-ish ad campaign, pinning each person to their own burger, or perhaps that the burger is an extension of your identity. As much as I love that commercial, it really got me thinking about how accurate it really is and how come no one has ever thought of it before? Unlike any other fast-food restaurant, Harvey’s is one of the few, if any, that stands firm with the principle that you can have your burger any way you want it…and indeed you can.
Dress it up, dress it down, downsize or supersize, burgers have been a fast food icon for decades, but sit-down restaurants everywhere are reinventing all sorts of burgers as a staple on their menus. These “gourmet-ized” burgers are easy to make at home and best of all you can feature different meats and different flairs.
I’ve recently made for my better half the ultimate “Noah Burger”. Since he’s oh-so-very-kindly asked me to not publish his special recipe, I decided instead to showcase one of my favorites. Although it was a stiff competition between the za’atar lamb burger with goat cheese and grilled eggplant, the beef burger stuffed with blue cheese, and the salsa verde turkey burger, the latter steps up to the podium.
Salsa Verde Turkey Burger
- Jalapeños – two or three
- Green pepper – one
- Garlic – one head
- Lime juice
- Olive oil
- Ground turkey
- Finely chopped small onion and one garlic clove
- Ground cumin – one teaspoon
- Oregano – one tablespoon (if using fresh, make sure to remove the stems and give the leaves a coarse chop)
- Aged cheddar cheese – sliced (optional)
- Sour cream or plain yogurt (can be replaced with mayo)
- Onion, avocado, mango or pineapple (this replaces the tomato) – sliced
- Cilantro (this replaces the lettuce)
- Hamburger bread (use any kind you like, this time i used)
The amount of jalapeños to use in this salsa verde depends on the level of spiciness you can handle or perhaps test your limits with. However, I highly recommend a minimum heat for this burger to work. I like to use three jalapeños per green pepper.
Start by grilling the jalapeños and the green pepper on the bbq; leave them whole and char the skin. Chop off the top of the head of garlic, place it on a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper, wrap it all up in the foil and throw it onto the grill with the peppers. The peppers and the garlic have the same average cooking time on the grill and should be ready when the peppers are evenly charred and the garlic is soft. Put the peppers in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let them cool. Once they are cooled, arm yourself with a pair of latex gloves and start to peel off the skin and remove the seeds. Squeeze out the garlic and juice one lime into the food processor along with the jalapeños. Add a drizzle of olive oil and start processing. You want to end up with a smooth purée that is just thick enough to coat a nacho. At this point, you may as well just taste it! Season with salt and pepper to taste, add olive oil if it’s still too thick and set aside.
For the meat, start by finely chopping one small onion and a clove of garlic. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. With your hands mix all ingredients and form into four burgers. Don’t compress them too much or else they will dry out on the grill. Slice the onion, avocado and/or mango. Thoroughly rinse and dry the cilantro. Grill the meat and the bread. Add the cheddar cheese to the meat after the first flip to allow it to melt (you want to avoid flipping and flopping your meat over, only one flip is required; also, don’t press down on the meat with your spatula, this will dry it out).
To serve, spread sour cream on the bottom bread, top with cilantro, avocado and place the turkey on top. Add mango and onions. Top with a hearty serving of salsa verde. Close up the burger and dive in!
This burger should have a palatable heat balanced by the sharpness of the turkey, onions and cheddar, cooled by the freshness and sweetness of the mango, cilantro and avocado. It is above all, to be enjoyed with a lime margarita!
So, what do I have on my Harvey’s hamburger? Mustard, relish, onions, pickles, hot peppers.