As we have entered the month that will kick off cookout season, it’s time to start thinking about burgers.
Now I know we have not reached Memorial Day weekend yet, but I got burgers on the mind. This is a burger you kind of have to eat before the 3 day weekend.
Why? It’s a seasonal thing! A very limited seasonal thing.
This burger is heavily featuring one of the first thing to come out of the ground each spring. I am talking about the ramp – that crazy leafy thing that smells something like garlic or leeks or onions or whichever you choose. Whatever you identify the smell as no one will deny it’s strong – it smelled up my whole van!
After traveling to a ramp festival in Ohio, I decided I wanted to dedicate a burger to the flavor of this festival. This is the most “Ramped-Up” burger you will ever taste.
We got ramp pesto on top with pickled ramps. We even got ramp powder inside the burger itself. You see I told you this was a Ramped-Up burger. I don’t kid when it comes to ramps.
A Quarter Pounder
First thing I like to do when making burgers is to weight them out. I want a 1/4 pound burger. So I weigh them on a scale. Besides being dorky and following in the footsteps of the great Alton Brown, I do this because if the burgers are about the same size they will be done at the same time.
The Key to a Juicy Turkey Burger
The most important thing to having a juicy burger or any meat for that matter is to take it’s temperature. I used an instant read thermometer to check the temperatures of my burgers. Since they were all about roughly the same size once I figured out how long it took to get the burgers to the perfect temperature I was able to time them the rest of the way.
Then next thing I do for burger juiciness is mix in 1 egg per pound of ground turkey. Since we raise ducks for eggs, we got plenty right now.
Also I use ground turkey thigh or at least a ground turkey that is 85/15. That means it has 15% fat. You can get leaner but those burgers are even harder to keep moist.
At the ramp festival I went to, I meet a vendor that was selling ramps in a dried powered form. I used this powder instead of using garlic powder like I normally do. Of course go ahead and use garlic powder unless you are lucky to find ramp powder. Your burger will still be ramped up, just maybe not as much as mine 🙂
Making the Ramp Pesto
The pesto is super easy to make. You take the leaves of the ramps and mix them with sunflower seeds, lime juice, and olive oil, then season to taste. Get the full recipe for Ramp Pesto
Making the Pickled Ramps
The pickled ramps are as easy to make as the pesto. Combine equal parts vinegar and water with some sugar & salt in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then pour over the bulbs of the ramps. Get the full recipe for Pickled Ramps.
It’s Like Spring Threw Up In My Mouth
Ok maybe the sound of throwing up and food isn’t the best match. But these burgers just really taste like spring.
The ramp season is so short this is really a great way to appreciate them on multiple levels. And hey if you are reading this and it’s not ramp season or you can’t find any ramps, you could always still make the burgers and use a different pesto.
Or you could wait til green garlic or garlic scapes are in season and make a similar dish.
Hmmmmm. I may just have to do that this summer 🙂
"Ramped Up" Turkey Burgers
- 1 pound ground turkey 85/15 is best
- 1 large egg
- kosher salt to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- wild ramp or garlic powder to taste
- cooking oil or spray
- 1 recipe ramp pesto
- 1 recipe pickled ramps
- Place ground turkey into a large mixing bowl
- Crack the egg over the turkey. Add heavy pinches of salt, pepper, and ramp/garlic powder.
- Gently work the meat to combine. Add another heavy pinch of seasonings.
- Using a kitchen scale, weight out 1/4 pound portions of ground turkey.
- Form into a patty with your hand. This will be sticky.
- Bring your griddle, pan, or grill to high heat. Oil up the cooking surface so the burgers don't stick.
- Cook the turkey burgers for about 6 1/2 to 7 minutes per side or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees
- To serve, use a knife to add a layer of ramp pesto. Top with 2-3 pickled ramps. Enjoy!