caprese turkey burgers with roasted golden cherry tomato & red onion jam

For the last couple years, toward the end of summer, I slow roast a bunch of tomatoes with thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil for about 3 hours. Vacuum sealing them up and storing them in the freezer makes for an easy and delicious mid-winter tomato soup. I did all of that this year, but decided to test out an alt variation on another pan, using cherry tomatoes, red onions and a sweet vinaigrette type dressing that would reduce to a rustic “jam”. I would say the results were something between a jam and a homemade ketchup and well worth the minimal added effort since I was already roasting a large batch of tomatoes with my regular method.

This is the kind of recipe you’ll want some time for, perhaps on a day spent around home. It doesn’t require much prep work, and once it’s in the oven you leave it alone. The beauty of this one isn’t in the complexity, but rather the deeply developed flavors of the slow roasted cherry tomato and red onion jam paired with a simple turkey burger with melted fresh mozzarella. It always amazes me how one special ingredient can turn the basic into something extraordinary and unique.

I served my burgers bunless, along with a large side portion of massaged kale & quinoa salad. Recipe coming soon!

ingredients

1lb fresh lean ground turkey
fresh mozzarella
1 container of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp coconut sugar
5-6 sprigs of thyme
salt & pepper, to taste

step 1: mix the dressing

Preheat the oven to 200°F. A typically vinaigrette calls for 1 part vinegar to 3 parts olive oil, but for my jam, I wanted extra tangy flavor and less liquid since the juice from the tomatoes would contribute a bit more to this. Combine the white wine vinegar, olive oil, coconut sugar, and salt and pepper with a whisk, tasting and adjusting as you go.

step 2: prep the tomatoes & onions

Combine the vinaigrette with the cherry tomatoes and onions, and lay flat on a foil lined baking sheet. Top the tomatoes and onions with whole sprigs of thyme. By doing this, you’ll impart all the savory flavor from the thyme without having any tough, dried up thyme leaves in the final jam.

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step 3: roast and prep the jam

When oven is preheated, place the baking sheet inside and roast slowly for about 3 hours, until most of the liquid from the tomatoes has reduced and the skins are quite shriveled. Remove the sprigs of thyme, place the tomato and onion mixture into a bowl and mash with a fork until it reaches the desired consistency. Store in a small mason jar or tupperware.

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step 4: make the turkey burgers

Nothing fancy here. Form 4 patties out of your pound of ground turkey, season with salt and pepper and fry on a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, 3-4 minutes per side. Once flipped, place the slices of fresh mozzarella on top to melt.

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step 5: assembly

This is my favorite part. Plate your turkey burgers next to a large sized serving of salad or veggies, and spoon on the roasted cherry tomato and onion jam over the burger and enjoy with a fork and knife.

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