I didn’t start out as an olive lover like every self-respecting ½ Italian girl should. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Iavarone Brothers, I’ll introduce you. It’s the greatest Italian gourmet food shop on Long Island. The two of you will become fast friends. My step dad would take a trip to Iavarone on a Saturday and come home with a whole array of olives; black, green, oil cured, some with pimentos, some without. In true bratty little kid fashion, I’d stick my tongue out at the little plastic containers of salty treats and ask him to pass the prosciutto.
One day I woke up. Olives are fantastic. I was at home this weekend reveling in the return of the Food Network to Cablevision customers (crisis averted!) and caught Ellie Krieger’s show. I completely admire Ellie’s background as a Nutritionist and I do think some of her recipe ideas are stellar, but she’s a big-time geek. I was actually tempted to switch over to SportsCenter, the show was so drab. SportsCenter! But, I stuck it out and low and behold she was making an olive turkey burger. Granted, she calls it her Better Burger which is a lame-o name for an entrée. You can’t just slap the word “better” in front of a food item and trick people into trying your recipe. You got me Ellie, I tried it. It was delicious.
The recipe is very simple and doesn’t require that you buy a bunch of wacky ingredients. The only change I made was to melt a piece of provolone cheese over the top. With turkey burgers, I’m always concerned they will dry out and the cheese was a little insurance policy. Actually, the olives kept the burger nice and juicy and the cumin gives it a really interesting smoky taste that I haven’t encountered before in a burger. I thought the olive taste would be overpowering, but it was surprisingly subtle. I even went a little wild and topped with ketchup AND mustard. Crazy, I know. For someone trying to control their fat intake, turkey burgers are a really nice option. A whole wheat roll keeps carbs under control and you can sneak some veggies in there with lettuce and tomato on top. Overall, a great meal.
Get cooking. Let me know what you think. Love it? Hate it? I’m interested in hearing your feedback and suggestions.