Now we come to the crucial part of the recipe, the part I call Turkey Helper. The blandest and driest of white meats, turkey cries out for flavor and moisture. Happily, any number of vegetables can answer this call, including sauteed onions, bell peppers or mushrooms, shredded raw Napa cabbage, or carrots.
But I wanted to give these burgers the Greek treatment, so I moistened them with spinach, garlic and onions, then seasoned them with crumbled feta and fresh oregano. A staple of Greek cuisine, the goat or sheep milk cheese called feta is so packed with flavor and saltiness that a little goes a long way. And if you're not a fan of oregano, you can swap in dill or basil instead.
In search of a simpatico sauce, I built one out of pepperoncini. Also known as Tuscan pickled peppers, pepperoninci are the little green hot peppers that have spiced up every Greek salad you've ever eaten. They're briny, too, which is why I added some of their pickling liquid to the yogurt-mayo base.
This creamy sauce comprises the last splash of our Turkey Helper. Nobody in my house cries "Where's the beef?" when we pull these burgers off the grill.
GREEK-STYLE TURKEY BURGERS WITH PEPPERONCINI SAUCE
Start to finish: 45 minutes
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
5 ounces baby spinach
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced seeded pepperoncini
1 tablespoon liquid from the pepperoncini jar
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice, or to taste
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 pound ground turkey
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns
Heat the grill to medium.
In a large skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and the spinach and cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer the mixture to a bowl. Chill in the refrigerator until cooled to room temperature.