I’ve had this burger in mind since, oh, maybe February. I kept waiting, stalking produce aisles, and banking on the promise that spring will spring and there will be fresh local peas everywhere. Well, spring is a dirty liar–it’s almost May and I’m still looking.
I gave up on finding fresh peas from my part of the world. (My part of the world is not Guatemala or Mexico… Right now, anyway.) I went for good ol’ frozen USA peas, and while there’s nothing wrong with frozen produce–in fact, it’s pretty amazing–it defeats the magic of local eating and seasonality. Of waiting for really special things.
But, sometimes you gotta throw your hands up and be like, “I just want to make this thing, eat it, and live happily ever after. So sue me. OKAY?”
That’s what I did. Because YOLOAFAWK (You Only Live Once, As Far As We Know–long but accurate, right?)
So here they are. Defrosted but still oh-so green, bright, and flavorful.
I realize that putting something minty on a burger would make a thousand times more sense if it were a lamb burger, and I wholeheartedly agree. That said, I don’t wholeheartedly love lamb, but if you do, you know what to do. Lamb burgers? What is “dinner tonight” for 200, Alex?
Don’t forget the cheese. You wouldn’t, because you’re not a monster.
People always act like there’s some secret “trick” to juicy, perfect burgers. If you listen to them, all of a sudden you’re adding chopped onion and mixing in sauces … and before you know it, you’re standing over a grill basically grilling meatloaf. DON’T DO THAT. Unless you really like meatloaf I guess.
My trick isn’t really a trick at all: Just don’t overcook it, dogg!
Poke it to see if it feels squishy. Or, in the case of beef and other things that are lovely slightly undercooked, see if it feels the right amount of squishy. It might take you a few tries, but once you get it, you get it.
Scientific? Not really. Foolproof? You bet your buns, my friend.
Here, have a burger. I’m gonna go finish my beer and go have a talk with whomever’s in charge of making sure spring doesn’t drop the ball on Things I Want To Put on My Burgers.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 2 cups shelled peas
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound ground turkey
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices havarti
- Lettuce or other greens
- 4 burger buns
- Heat up olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat and when it starts to shimmer, add the minced shallot and saute, stirring, for a minute or so, until it becomes soft and translucent. Add peas and 2-3 tablespoons of water, cover, and cook for 2-3 minutes until the peas are tender.
- Remove from heat and stir in fresh mint. Season with salt and pepper, then puree mixture in a blender or food processor, taking care not to burn yourself (obviously). Set mixture aside.
- Season ground turkey with salt and pepper and mix well to incorporate. Use your hands to divide mixture into four portions, then shape into patties.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat and oil the grate using an olive-oil soaked paper towel and tongs.
- When grill is nice and hot, grill burgers until no longer pink and squishy (your senses are really the best guide to cooking meat), about 4-5 minutes per side. During the last couple minutes of grilling, lay the havarti slices on the burgers to melt.
- Assemble burgers with lettuce or other greens, patties, and a generous dollop of the minted pea mixture on top. Serve immediately.