What better embodies an alternative burger than a side of crisp carrot “fries”? This spinach and scallion turkey burger is a dreamy take on a traditionally beef-centric meal, opting for a turkey patty speckled with greens. Cumin adds subtle depth to these juicy, anything-but-basic burgers, slathered with a lemony, garlicky aioli sauce and served with a side of roasted, cayenne-peppered carrots.
Incorporate burger ingredients without crushing them; using your hands prevents over mixing and ensures a softer touch.
Covering the burgers during the second half of cooking traps in steam to help them cook through faster and more evenly.
USDA recommends cooking turkey to 160°F.
1 clove garlic, divided
12 ounces baby carrots
1 ounce baby spinach
12 ounces ground turkey
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 brioche buns
2 tablespoons olive oil
12″ medium pan with lid
1. Prepare Ingredients
Preheat oven to 450°F. Mince garlic. Halve lemon. Rinse remaining produce. Quarter carrots lengthwise and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Finely chop spinach. Pat turkey dry with paper towel. Trim and discard scallion roots. Thinly slice whites and light greens. Save remaining dark greens for use in another recipe as desired.
2. Roast Carrots
On a baking sheet, toss carrots with as much cayenne pepper as desired (it’s spicy), 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper as desired. Arrange in a single layer, transfer to oven, and roast until crisp, 10-12 minutes.
3. Form Burgers
While carrots roast, combine cumin, spinach, turkey, scallion whites and light greens, and 1⁄2 of garlic in a medium bowl. Season with 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper as desired. Using your hands, mix well (see Recipe Tip). Divide mixture evenly and form into 2 patties, about 1-inch thick.
4. Sear Burgers
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add burgers and sear until browned on bottom, 5-6 minutes. Flip, cover pan, and sear until cooked through, 5-6 minutes more. Remove from pan and set aside to rest for about 5 minutes.
5. Make Aioli and Toast Buns
While burgers rest, whisk together mayonnaise, juice of 1⁄2 lemon, and remaining garlic in a medium bowl until fully combined. Season with 1⁄8 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper as desired. Wipe baking sheet from carrots clean, then halve buns crosswise and add cut-side up. Transfer to oven and toast until light golden, about 3 minutes. Use remaining lemon to brighten a glass of water.
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