Appetite For Instruction: Farmer's Market Burger With Grilled Onion Relish

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Recipe demonstrated by Amy Green, 2nd place in Sutter Home Build a Better Burger Contest

Football season is in full swing. With football season comes game day food, and what's the best game day food? Burgers...and of course, hot dogs and chips. But let's focus on meat patties today.

Amy Green recently returned back to Dallas after a long weekend in Napa Valley with $500 extra in her pocket . It was all work, though. She was there to win the alternative (non-beef) burger competition for the Sutter Home Build a Better Burger Contest. She came this close to her goal, taking first-runner up with her healthy spin on one of our favorite guilty pleasures, the Farmer's Market Burger.

The former elementary school teacher spent over six months trying to perfect her recipe, and well, it definitely paid off. She likes to think of it as a sentimental recipe, because she had her first date with her now husband at a farmer's market. He was also the one to encourage her to enter into the competition. Even though it is sports season and we tend to eat badly around this time, Amy likes to think that "it is possible to eat well, but still be healthy."

Makes 6 burgers

Peppered Tomato Mayonnaise:
½ cup mayonnaise
4 t. good quality tomato paste
2 t. Dijon mustard
¾ t. black pepper, freshly ground

Grilled Red Onion Relish:
2 T. good quality olive oil
2 red onions, cut in half and sliced ¼ inch thick
2 red bell peppers
1 ear of corn in the husk
10 oz. grape tomatoes, cut in half and each half cut in thirds
1 t. salt
2 T. fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

1 T. good quality olive oil
½ cup grated carrots
1 cup diced cremini mushrooms
2 lbs. ground turkey
½ cup red onion, grilled (from red onion relish)
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup good quality, finely ground bread crumbs
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove, minced or grated
2 t. coarse ground sea salt
1 t. black pepper, freshly ground
Vegetable oil for brushing the grill
6 high quality, whole grain hamburger buns, split
6 slices aged, sharp white cheddar cheese
3 oz. bagged, prewashed baby spinach

Step 1: To make the mayonnaise by whisking mayonnaise, tomato paste, Dijon, and black pepper together in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside, preferably in a cooler.

Step 2: To make the relish, set a fire-proof skillet on the grill, and add 2 T. olive oil. Heat oil to hot but not smoking. Add red onion and cook until soft and caramelized. Remove from grill and allow to cool.

Step 3: Place red bell peppers and corn on grill and char each side. When bell peppers are charred, remove and place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes. Let corn cool until you can handle it easily. Peel red peppers over a clean bowl, catching juices. Seed peppers and cut into a rough ¼ inch dice. Place in bowl with juices. Husk corn and slice kernels from ear and place in bowl with bell peppers. Chop red onions into a rough ¼ dice, reserve ½ c. for burgers, and place remaining onions in bowl.

Step 4: Add tomatoes, parsley, salt and toss. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside, preferably in a cooler.

Step 5: To make the patties, set a fire-proof skillet on the grill and add 1 T. olive oil. Once oil is hot but not smoking, add carrots and mushrooms. Sauté until soft, 5 -7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Step 6: Place turkey in a large bowl. Add carrots, mushrooms, red onion, egg, bread crumbs, Dijon, garlic, salt, and pepper. Using a fork and taking care not to compact meat, mix until ingredients are thoroughly incorporated and evenly distributed throughout.

Step 7: Form into equal sized patties, approximately 7 ounces each. Cover with plastic wrap and place in cooler until ready to grill. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook for 5 -7 minutes, or until you can see the edge of the burger starting to cook. Flip burgers and cook for another 5 - 7 minutes

Step 8: To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of the tomato peppered mayonnaise over the cut side of the buns. On each bun bottom, place equal portions of the baby spinach, followed by a grilled patty, top the patty generously with relish, add the top bun, and serve.

Note: We cooked the recipe inside on a stove top, since our weather has been comparable to Seattle lately.

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