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The Dog Ate My Pesto Burger

If Oliver spoke English, he would tell you: a turkey burger with a little pesto thrown in is a beautiful thing. Oliver is, however, a golden retriever, so, although he is nearly perfect, his language skills are limited. But as a food thief, he has no peer.

He has, of late, really honed his counter-surfing skills; his silent stealth rivals that of a rattlesnake. I left Tom’s lovingly made, fat, juicy pesto turkey burger in the kitchen, stepping over Oliver, who was ostensibly sound asleep on the floor. When I came back seconds later, both the burger and the dog were gone.

See, Oliver knows to act only when I am at least twelve feet away and fully distracted. Then, with perfect physical control he can scarf down a burger without causing the plate to rattle. He walks softy: you hear no toenail clicking. He leaves a clean crime scene; the cole slaw on the plate is untouched. without so much as a shred of cabbage out of place. It’s as if the burger had simply disappeared, poof.

My dog is truly a superior animal. Now, if I could just teach him to cook…

Pesto Turkey Burger

2 cups basil leaves, packed
2/3 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese, room temperature
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound ground turkey

1 tablespoon butter

First, make the pesto. Place the basil, walnuts and garlic in a food processor. Turn the processor on and add the oil in a thin stream until you have a thick paste. Stir in the cheeses and the salt and pepper and set the pesto aside. (You will have a little over a cup of pesto. You only need a few tablespoons for the turkey burgers, but you can use the rest on pasta the next day, or freeze it and use it later.)

In a large bowl, combine the turkey with 2-3 tablespoons of the pesto, depending on how strong you want the flavor to be. Form the turkey into four patties. Fry them in butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat for about five minutes per side. Serve them on buns with fresh sliced tomatoes.

Serves 4.

(If you like, melt some mozzarella cheese on top fo the burgers.)

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2 Responses to “The Dog Ate My Pesto Burger”

  1. kate boland gianopulos Says:

    hi jessica
    chris turned me on 2 ur website. i absolutely LOVE ur writing, and the dog is precious. heard about ur upcoming book–can’t wait. there IS life after kids…kate xoxo

  2. Zashkaser Says:

    Ya put a smile in my face.

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