Spinach and Feta Turkey Burger

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Spinach and Feta Turkey Burger with Mint, Dill, and Cucumber Tzatziki Sauce

I’ve never really cared much for ground turkey. I thought it was too dry and bland and became dense and bland when formed into patties.

A couple weeks ago, I was over at my in-laws and was served a grilled turkey burger. It was much tastier than I anticipated, but I still thought it could be improved upon.

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Spinach and feta turkey burgers fry on a cast iron griddle on a gas grill.

A few days later, my wife showed me a recipe for a turkey burger with spinach and feta cheese. It looked promising, but I thought the proportions seemed a little off. I decreased the amount of spinach and egg as I thought the amount in the original recipe would make burgers that fell apart.

I use a cast iron griddle on my gas grill to cook the burgers. A cast iron skillet will also work or simply cook them on the grates.

Here is what I did:

Spinach and Feta Turkey Burger

Ingredients

1 Large egg
2 Cloves garlic
3 Ounces Feta cheese crumbles
1 Pound fresh spinach steamed and squeezed dry or 7 ounces frozen spinach thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/2 Pounds ground turkey

Directions

Mix together the egg, garlic, feta cheese, spinach, and turkey in a large bowl until well combined. Form into 6 patties approximately 5 ounces each. Place them on foil wrapped tray and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

While burgers are chilling, preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat. Then grill burgers until no longer pink in the center, 15 to 20 minutes.

Mint, Dill, and Cucumber Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients 

1 Cucumber, peeled and grated
1/2 Teaspoon salt
2 Cups plain Greek yogurt
4 Cloves garlic, minced
1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 Tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions

Sprinkle grated cucumber with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl and let stand 10 to 15 minutes to draw out juice. Then move shredded cucumber onto several dry paper or cloth towel and squeeze as much moisture as possible from the cucumber.

Then combine yogurt, cucumber into a separate bowl. Add garlic, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice and mix thoroughly.

Stir dill and mint into yogurt-cucumber mixture. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. This may also be made the day before to allow the flavors to combine even more.

Savory Spinach Pie

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A slice of spinach pie

My favorite farmers’ market in the Cedar Rapids area, the Hiawatha Farmers’ Market, opened this past weekend and I stopped by to say hello to some of my friends.

This market is my favorite because it opens the earliest in the year and is the last to close in the area. It is also just the right size. It isn’t filled with the craziness of the Downtown Farmers’ Market which is more a place to be seen and not a farmers’ market. I build relations with the growers at Hiawatha which is what a market should be.

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Spinach pie cooling after coming out of the oven.

This visit to the year’s first market was simply to reacquaint myself with the vendors. I didn’t buy anything this visit as the offerings were mostly bedding plants. Some of the vendors have large green houses and so they were able to offer some items like lettuces and other greens as well as hot house tomatoes.

One green I am really looking forward to is fresh spinach and that got me thinking; I’m hungry for spinach pie.

Not finding any spinach at the market and a few days latter when this craving became an obsession, I did the next best thing. I went to the organic section of my grocery and bought a couple pounds of spinach. Craving satisfied.

Here is what I did:

Savory Spinach Pie

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds fresh spinach, larger stems removed, washed and thoroughly dried (See note)
8 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
3 large eggs (one egg is used for an egg wash)
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
Pie crust for double crust pie

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Add the olive oil to a large skillet and sauté the onion and garlic over medium-high heat until the onion is translucent and beginning to soften. Season with salt and pepper. Add about 1/4 of the spinach, or whatever will fit in your skillet, and sauté until it cooks down. Repeat this until all the spinach is wilted. Continue cooking until most of the liquid is cooked out, about 10 to 12 minutes. Place spinach in a sieve and press the spinach to remove as much of the remaining liquid as possible. Set aside.

Whisk the cream, 2 eggs, and nutmeg together in a suitable bowl and set aside.

Fit the bottom crust in a 10″ pie pan. Layer half the spinach mixture in the bottom crust and then layer half the grated cheese. Repeat layers. Pour cream and egg mixture over spinach and cheese. Fit top crust over the pie and crimp the edges together. Beat remaining egg in a suitable bowl and brush over top crust with a pastry brush. Slit the top crust with a sharp knife to create steam vents.

Bake in 375F oven for 45 to 50 minutes and crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 30 minutes.

Note: You may substitute 2 10 ounce packages of frozen spinach for fresh. If you choose to do this, thaw and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. After you have sautéed the onion and garlic, add this to the skillet to warm though and incorporate the onion and garlic.

Eggs Florentine with Chèvre

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This dish is perfect to serve anytime – from breakfast to a Sunday Brunch or as a meatless evening meal. The broiled sourdough bread gives it a nice crunch. The spinach and goat cheese give the dish a nice balanced tang and the runny egg helps bring it all together. The best part is the whole dish comes together in well under 30 minutes.

Ingredients (for two servings)

2 slices (1 inch thick) sourdough bread
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 scallion, thinly sliced
12 ounces baby spinach
1/3 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese (3 ounces)
Cooking spray
2 large eggs

Directions

Place bread on a baking sheet, and brush one side with olive oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper and then broil until golden, about 3 minutes on oiled side. Flip and lightly toast other side about one minute.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add scallions and as much spinach as will fit and season with salt and pepper cooking until wilted. Continue adding more spinach as room becomes available, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain off excess liquid and mix in goat cheese. Transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm. Set aside.

Wipe out skillet then spray with cooking spray and return to medium heat. Gently crack eggs into skillet and season with salt and pepper if desired. Cover and cook eggs until whites are set but yolks are still soft; about 3 minutes.

Top each piece of toast with spinach mixture and 1 egg; serve immediately.

 

You don’t have to be a sailor to like this spinach side: Garlic Sautéd Spinach

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Popeye would love this side dish because the spinach is sautéed in olive oil. Okay, excuse the terrible pun, but this spinach dish is extremely tasty and cooks up in just over ten minutes. Here’s what I did:

Ingredients

1 ½ pounds baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons good olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Lemon
Sea or kosher salt, optional

Directions

Rinse the spinach very well in cold water. If you have a salad spinner give the salad several good spins otherwise shake off as much water as you can. A little water left on the leaves is okay as it will create steam and help wilt the spinach.

In a large pan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add all the spinach, the salt, and pepper to the pan and toss it with the garlic and oil. Cover the pan and cook it for no more than three minutes. Remove the lid and turn the heat to high. Cook the spinach for another couple minutes stirring with a wooden spoon until all the spinach is wilted. Remove the spinach to a serving bowl using a slotted spoon. Give the spinach a good squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of kosher salt if needed. Serve immediately.