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Lean, Keen Burger

August 24, 1995|DONNA DEANE | TIMES TEST KITCHEN DIRECTOR; Deane is co-author of "Simply Healthful Cakes" (Chapters Publishing: 1993; $9.95)

The summer burger urge is hard to satisfy if you're watching your fat intake. Turkey burgers are the answer for many, but if you're getting bored with the plain patty on a bun, there is hope.

Consider this burger stuffed with cheese and topped with mushrooms. Made with turkey, it has just eight grams of fat. A lean beef burger, without the trimmings--no cheese, no mushrooms--has 23 grams of fat on its own. The choice is simple.

The turkey burger is stuffed with a fresh basil leaf and feta cheese, then the edges of the two patties are sealed before grilling. The mesquite-grilled portobello mushrooms spooned over the burger add a " meaty" flavor.

The burgers are served on watercress, and low-fat French rolls are used instead of higher-fat hamburger buns.



4 to 5 small portobello mushrooms


2 tablespoons basil leaves, cut into thin strips

2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced


1/4 cup nonfat chicken broth

Grill mushrooms over mesquite-fired barbecue or on grill pan sprayed with mesquite spray until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Lightly season with salt to taste during grilling. If grilling indoors, spray with mesquite spray during grilling.

Slice grilled mushrooms and toss with cut basil leaves, crumbled feta cheese, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken broth and let mushrooms marinate while preparing burgers.


1 1/2 pounds ground turkey

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup feta cheese

Whole basil leaves


French hard rolls, split and toasted

Thin slivered onion

Combine turkey, garlic, salt and pepper. Shape into 8 patties. Spoon about 2 tablespoons feta cheese on top of each of 4 patties. Top each with 1 basil leaf, then another patty, pressing edges together to seal. Top each with 1 basil leaf. Grill, turning to brown both sides, until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Place handful of watercress on warm hard roll, top with grilled burger, add slivered onion and spoon mushrooms over burger.

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