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Turkey Burgers with Pesto

Every year when spring finally shows up, you can hardly keep me inside at dinnertime, particularly when the apple tree begins to bloom in our back yard. Starting to use the barbecue more often again (I never do quit grilling completely over the winter) makes me crave burgers, and expand my burger repertoire. Turkey burgers are leaner than their beef counterparts, but just as flavorful – more so, even, if you add a heaping spoonful of pesto.

Basil pesto adds an extra dimension of summery flavor, and goes well with a slab of provolone, melted on top. I like serving these on grainy buns, with a bit of mayo, lettuce or baby spinach and tomato. The boys like their burgers plain, cut into bite-sized pieces to eat with their fingers. The turkey-pesto mixture, by the way, also makes fantastic meatballs to pile on top of spaghetti.

Turkey Burgers with Pesto

1 lb lean ground turkey or chicken
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 heaping spoonfuls basil pesto
1 egg
1 garlic clove, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
4-6 slices provolone(optional)

In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, bread crumbs, pesto, egg, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands, without overworking it. Shape into 4-6 patties.

Preheat an oiled grill to medium-high, or heat a drizzle of oil in a heavy skillet set over medium-high heat. Cook the patties for about 4 minutes per side, flipping as necessary, until golden and cooked through. Top each patty with a slice of cheese, then close the lid or cover to allow it to melt.

Serve on your choice of bun, with your choice of condiments. Serves 4-6.

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