Even though it’s been years since I’ve had an extended summer vacation – three months void of jobs, schedules or responsibility – there is something about warm weather, sunglasses and the coconutty smell of suntan lotion that lifts my spirits. I like seeing toddlers wearing cute little Bermuda shorts and love stepping out my front door without a jacket. I like flip-flops, the smell of freshly-cut grass and hearing the Good Humor truck’s jingle when it circles my block.
There are a lot of nice things about Manhattan in the summertime. The weekends are quieter and wait lists at restaurants are shorter. The city isn’t as frenetic and there’s even time for a post-work frozen margarita on a hot July day or a glass of Prosecco at a sidewalk cafe. However the one thing that I miss about summer in the city is the ease of coming home from work and having a grill on which to cook dinner.
When I lived at my parents’ house in the suburbs, I was always good for a vote towards an evening meal consistening of grilled salmon and vegetables or juicy chicken breasts slathered in tangy barbecue sauce. When it’s eighty-bajillion degrees out and the last thing you feel like doing is turning on the oven, a grill is certainly a nice tool to have at your disposal.
Even though there’s no room for a grill on my tiny balcony, I still do my best to recreate summer dinners reminiscent of laid-back cookouts. Grilling is a fast, easy and low-fat way to get dinner on the table – especially when the sweltering heat is convincing you to do anything but cook. Whether you’re grilling on a George Foreman (as I’ve been known to do on occasion) or a Weber Summit, these turkey burgers, a recipe I adapted from a Weight Watchers cookbook, would be delicious – especially if you can make them in the backyard and eat them from a paper plate alongside a healthy serving of potato salad and fresh corn-on-the-cob.
Feta-Stuffed Turkey Burgers
I’ve made these on a gas grill, a George Foreman grill and under the broiler. Though the former offered the best texture and juiciest burger but any of the cooking methods are tasty and simple.
1 pound(s) uncooked ground turkey (I used 99% lean)
1 tbsp fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. of dried)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
7 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled
4 large leaves of red leaf or romaine lettuce
Red onion (optional)
1. Preheat cooking implement (grill or grill pan, broiler). In a medium bowl, combine turkey, oregano, garlic powder and feta; divide mixture into four balls and then press them gently into patties.
2. Grill or broil patties until internal temperature of burgers reaches 165°F, about 7 to 8 minutes per side.
3. Serve each burger on a whole wheat roll or bun with lettuce and red onion.
If you are going charcoal this year, check out these tips before you fire up!