Turkey Burgers with Roasted Eggplant Salsa

Vetri Foundation's Tia McDonald's exclusive recipe

February 10, 2014


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 bunch of Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • 4 whole-wheat ciabatta rolls, or any other hearty roll
  • Extra-virgin olive oil to taste
  • Roasted Eggplant Salsa


1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. 


2. Combine the turkey, chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to preference; gently mix with your hands until the ingredients are just combined. Divide into 4 balls, then lightly press into 4-inch-wide, 1-inch-thick patties. Place on a large platter, cover, and refrigerate until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. While the patties are resting, make the Roasted Eggplant Salsa.

3. Heat a medium-sized saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the grapeseed oil and place the chilled patties in the pan. Cook 5 to 7 minutes on each side, turning once, to an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove from the heat.

4. Slice the rolls in half lengthwise, place on a baking pan cut side up, and toast for 5 to 8 minutes or until toasted. Remove from the oven and drizzle olive oil on the toasted side of the bread. Transfer to serving plates and place a turkey burger on the bottom half of each roll. Top each with ⅓ cup Eggplant Salsa and the other half of the roll. Slice diagonally and serve hot.

Note: Salsa can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time.

* Makes 4 servings



Roasted Eggplant Salsa


  • 2 whole medium-sized eggplants
  • ½ cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 3 shallots, whole
  • 5-7 ‘Shishito’ peppers (or similar thin-walled, spicy peppers)
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

1. Take the eggplants and randomly pierce their skins with a fork. Place on a baking pan and roast for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the skins are firm. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, remove the skin from the pulp. Set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the grapeseed oil, garlic cloves, shallots, and peppers, and place over medium heat, bringing the oil to a simmer. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the skin on the peppers is mildly blistered and the garlic and shallots are tender and roasted. Remove the ingredients from the oil and transfer them to a food processor.

3. Add the eggplant to the food processor and pulse until the ingredients are just combined. Add the lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro, pulsing again until combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and season with salt, pepper, and extra-virgin olive oil to taste.

Photograph by Andrea Monzo
Originally published in Organic Gardening magazine, February/March 2014