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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pesto Parmesan Turkey Burgers and Some New England Sights

Where to start?  I guess, with the food, since this is a food blog, right?


This is a quickie recipe that I whipped up a few weeks ago.  We had some ground turkey hanging out in the freezer, like it does, and I wanted something different.  Burgers are always welcome, but a little variety is nice.  A look in the pantry turned up a jar of Trader Joe’s pesto.  Bingo!  One easy recipe, coming up!

Note: We had two 3/4 pound packages of farm fresh ground turkey (one white, and one dark meat) that we combined to make these.  The farm fresh meat is very moist, so we added bread crumbs.  If your ground turkey doesn’t seem extra moist, you can skip the bread crumbs.  Bottom line--the patties should hold together, so you be the judge.

Pesto Parmesan Turkey Burgers

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 1/4 cups grated fresh parmesan
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1 1/2 tsp garlic pepper rub
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Pesto Mayo

Your favorite mayo (we like Hellman's!)
prepared pesto

Mix all of the burger ingredients (except the things for the pesto mayo) in a medium bowl and form into patties.  (We got 8 for this amount)
Cook in a hot pan with a little heated olive oil, or grill for about 4 minutes per side.
For the pesto mayo, just eyeball the amounts until you get it to your liking.
Add any additional toppings you like.




And now, some shots from around NH.  These are some taken at Odiorne Point State Park, in Rye, NH.  We love visiting here, and we’re out at the coast all the time, anyway.  The park has the Seacoast Science Center, which is full of exhibits featuring the local wildlife.  The building itself is built on and encompasses the home originally built on the land in the 1600’s.  Here is a bit of history about Odiorne Point from

In the dense growth of shrubs and vines, covering much of the park's 330 acres, remnants of Odiorne's past silently remain. Reminders of other eras and stark contrasts; idyllic summer estates and gaunt reminders of coastal fortifications. In terms of man and his settlement of this coastal land, Odiorne Point remained a true wilderness until almost 400 years ago. During summer migrations Native Americans of Pennacook and Abnaki tribes visited the area which they called Pannaway. Permanent settlement began in the 1600s.

In 1623 an agent of England's Council for New England cameto fish and trade in the New World. David Thomson journeyed to New England on the ship Jonathan to establish the first New Hampshire settlement at what would become Odiorne Point. Many others followed, and the original settlement grew and spread along the coast and up the river.

John Odiorne joined the settlement in 1660. He acquired several acres of land from the shoreline west into the marshes beyond. Like the others, he farmed and fished. The Odiornes remained on the property for several generations, always a part of the continuing changes in the Odiorne Point community.

By the 1700s the settlement was well established, but the governing and trading activities had moved north into the deep harbor area of Strawberry Banke (now Portsmouth). The farms of Odiorne Point helped to feed the burgeoning port of Portsmouth for about 150 years.

After the Civil War farming gradually gave way to a colony of hotels and large summer homes. Generations of families spent their summers by the sea. In this era of large seaside resorts, a grand hotel called the Sagamore House was built on the property. Over the years smaller parcels of land were sold for summer homes and estates. Formal gardens and tree-lined drives ornamented the properties. By the late 1930s seventeen families lived on Odiorne Point, including an eighth generation descendent of John Odiorne and the last of the Odiornes to live on the ancestral homestead.

World War II (WWII) brought drastic changes to the landscape and to the lives of these people who loved their land by the sea. In 1942 the federal government purchased all the property from Little Harbor to the Sunken Forest, as well as the adjacent marshland. Within a month the Odiornes and their neighbors were gone.

Military structures were quickly built to house personnel, armaments and supplies. Massive concrete casements, often called bunkers, were constructed and camouflaged with thick vegetation. Because of their open aspect to the sea, many of the estates were demolished, and Route 1A was closed. Odiorne Point became known as Fort Dearborn, and for nearly twenty years, was part of the chain of coastal defenses that protected Portsmouth Harbor and the naval shipyard. In the late 1950s Fort Dearborn was declared surplus property. It was sold to the state of New Hampshire for $91,000 in 1961.

You can see a photo of the original house in the photo on this page.  The old  house is still there and now a part of the Science Center.   Sadly, the area was taken over during World War II and used as part of the coastal defense.  This photo from shows one of the bunkers that is still there.


My dad grew up on the coast, and his father had the chance to buy a very large, very gorgeous home that is still there today, for $5,000.00.  Everyone back then thought the homes on the coast would be destroyed.  Thankfully, they weren’t.  But sadly, my grandfather didn’t buy the house! 

And here are a few more photos from our trip up the the White Mountains yesterday.   There’s a couple of vista shots, and a few of only the second time in my life to see a moose up close.  We almost didn’t take the Kancamagus Highway to cut through the mountains, but I’m glad we did.  This “little” guy was hanging out on the side of the road!  I was able to get right in front of him, and then he crossed the road and went by just a few feet from us.  Being a city girl, this was very exciting!

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*Just Fran* said...

I haven't made a turkey burger in some time. Will have to give these a try.

Jennifer said...

I love pestos but I am not sure if I ever put on/in a burger. Nice flavoring

kat said...

The burgers sounds great & it looks like you had a lovely little trip

Auntie LuLu said...

thanks for the turkey burger recipe..always trying to change things up w/turkey and the jar of pesto from Italy does need to be opened !!!

I think you should have a contest (for non-New
Englanders) to pronounce Kancamagus

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Love those burgers and it sounds like a wonderful little trip! I love road trips like that!

grace said...

terrific! pesto pasta doesn't really do it for me anymore, but the thought of it in a burger is quite exciting. excellent work.

Stephanie said...

OH MY Goodness these sound wonderful...I never thought about adding pesto to my burgers. This is a must try! Thanks! Love the blog!!

Colleen said...

Those burgers look AMAZING! I will definitely be making them soon!

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

These burgers look so incredible - I love turkey burgers as they are such a nice change of pace from traditional ones!! Great pics!

unconfidentialcook said...

Great idea to put the pesto into the meat mixture--I usually just spread it on the bun. I also recommend putting a glob of cheese inside each burger. It tends to infuse the whole thing with its flavor.

Kerstin said...

Your burgers look perfect for a busy night! I feel like I only have 2-3 dishes I ever make with ground turkey, so I definitely need to liven things up a bit! Love the pesto!

Anonymous said...

Love the pesto idea and thanks for sharing the photos -- beautiful!

Jeff said...

Skip the food I came here for pesky moose and squirrel. Wait that sounds mean but I know you can cook and I know the burgers are rocking but moose (yeah I can be impressed by any shiny object)!!!!!!

Funny you mention the cheap house that was turned down because we were talking about something similar last weekend at the lake. The lots use to go for 10k back in the 70s and my buddies parents almost bought a couple. Now the land alone with a tear down house is worth over 500k. Yeah they are kicking themselves to this day.

Once again moosseeeeee!!!!!!!!

Ulla said...

Yummy! They looks so crispy and tasty! Wow!:)

kellypea said...

Drool! I've been in the mood for a boi-gah and did just purchase some turkey sausage. Not quite burger material, but you never know, right? Cool info -- we were headed to the EC for a road trip this summer but then The Job happened, so scratch that. I was looking forward to all the historical sites.

test it comm said...

Pesto and parmesan turkey burgers sound so good! What a great way to enjoy some freshly made summer pesto!

Chez US said...

Pesto and burgers .. yum! Great combination, I have never thought of doing the two together. I love the extra photos .. especially those crazy moose ones - WOW!

Margie said...

I gotta admit, I've always been skeptical of ground turkey burgers. But the burgers in your photos look so juicy and delicious, I'm willing to give turkey a chance. Amazing moose photos also!

Sharon said...

Yum! I just got finished devouring some turkey burgers for dinner. I love the addition of pesto. Beautiful photos!

Deborah said...

The burgers look great - and this post makes me want to go on vacation!

Holly said...

I'm so jealous! I've lived in NH for the majority of my life and I have yet to see a moose!

Elle said...

Oh my gosh, thanks everyone! I love reading your comments--I truly do. They make my day!

AuntieLuLu--that would be hilarious!

Holly--this makes only the second time for me. Every time I see a Moose Crossing sign, I look all over for one, hoping...hehehe.

Unknown said...

anything with pesto and parmesan in between fluffy buns? count me in!

We Are Not Martha said...

Definitely trying these! They look awesome!!


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