spring loaded.

As I write, I am devouring a bowl of Atlanta Fresh Greek yogurt mixed with a drop of local honey and fresh Georgia peaches.  Nom, nom, nom!  Spring is the best!!

Yesterday was Sunday, and the Grant Park Farmers Market was packed at noon.  In previous years, farmers and vendors would begin winding down and packing up during the last hour or so of the market.  But not this year.  The community is coming out in droves each week to support local farmers and stock up on the freshest fruits and veggies for the week.  And I, for one, cannot blame them.

Jackson Lowe’s table was wonderfully enticing this week.

Their cabbages looked picture perfect,

tender lettuces appeared handcrafted,

and these radishes were so incredibly red, one might think they’d been dyed like Easter eggs.  I had a giddy feeling in my belly, knowing that a big waxed box full of their naturally grown veggies was packed up and waiting for me.  Hooray!

We took a few minutes to gander at the rest of the market fare.  I only had $6 in my pocket- on purpose- so that I wouldn’t overload my fridge, which I had already begun filling with local goodies on Thursday.

Squash of all shapes and sizes are coming up in Georgia.  (They look like pumpkins to me.)

Lauren, from Le Tre Lune, explained that these are a rare breed of squash that still boast good flavor even at this massive size.

Their table was overflowing with a wide variety of spring veggies and herbs.

I felt compelled to reach into this bin of cucumber-y goodness.  I took home 3 different varieties to try.  The dark one is an Indian cucumber.  Cool!

There’s a new hotdog cart in town, y’all.

Doggy Dogg was sold out by the time we got to the market, but we’re excited to try out their dogs in the future.

Oakleaf Mennonite Farm had beautiful fennel.

And we bought some of these sweet peppers from Whit- the birthday boy- at Prowell’s Pasture.

With one dollar to spare, we (by we, I mean Adam) grabbed our CSA boxes, and we headed on home.

Can you believe that bounty?!?!?  Peaches, broccoli, carrots, TOMATOES!!!, radishes, beets, lettuce, cabbage, and green garlic.  As you can imagine, I was pretty stoked about putting on my apron and getting to work in my kitchen!

Today’s treat:  Grilled Turkey Garden Burgers with Pickled Radishes and Carrot Top Pesto Mayo served with Fresh Green Salad with Dill Yogurt Dressing.

Brace yourself for flavor.  And as always, please feel free to use any one of the recipes included in this meal.  You certainly don’t have to create the meal in its entirety!

Adam started by preparing a pickling mixture.

In a small bowl combine:

1/4 Cup red wine vinegar

2 T sugar

1 T salt

1 T pickling spice

1 T black peppercorns

1 T fresh dill

2 big cloves garlic, smashed

2 T water


Then, slice your radish,

and toss it in your pickling liquid.

Transfer the contents to a small jar and let it chill in your fridge for a couple of hours.

Shake the jar every now and again, just to be sure all of the radishes are getting an even coating of the pickling magic.

Next, Carrot Top Pesto.

Making pesto is real simple and the green carrot tops lend themselves quite well to this process.

4 Cups carrot top greens, washed, dried, and chopped roughly

1/2 Cup almond slivers, toasted until golden brown in a dry pan, and cooled

juice of a lemon

pinch of red pepper flakes

green garlic- 1 whole bulb, plus 2 inches of the white/ light green stalk (or 3 – 4 cloves regular garlic)

1/2 Cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1/2 Cup or more)

Place nuts, greens, garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and a good pinch of salt and pepper in your food processor.  Pulse to break down the ingredients.

Then, scrape down the sides.  Turn your food processor on and slowly stream in olive oil as you whir.  The goal is to create a paste that moves pretty easily- not to have an oily soup.  So, pour and blend for about 30 seconds.  Stop and check after you’ve added about 1/3 Cup of oil.  Add more salt if necessary, but keep in mind that you will be adding salty cheese too.  Blend again, adding a bit more oil to make your paste move well.  Then, add your cheese and just pulse a few times to incorporate it.

Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.  (Yum!)  Move to a bowl.

This yields about 1 1/2 Cups of carrot top pesto.  You can keep some in your fridge to use within the next few days and freeze the rest – ice cub trays or small plastic containers work great.  You can certainly toss pasta in this pesto, top a piece of fish with it, or combine 2 T with a lil bit of mayonnaise to create a slammin’ sandwich spread for your burger.

On to the salad!

We used our beautiful red leaf lettuce (washed and spun dry), one sliced shunkyo radish, 1 spicy white carrot (which I ribboned with a peeler), a diced lemon cucumber, and our fresh sweet pea pods.  You can use any combination of veggies you like.

For the Dill Yogurt Dressing:

1/2 Cup plain Greek yogurt

2 inch hunk of green garlic, chopped (or 2 cloves regular garlic)

1 t or so fresh dill

2 T champagne vinegar

quick squeeze of honey

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil

1 T water

Combine all ingredients except for olive oil and water in a blender or small food processor.  Whir to combine.  Then, slowly stream in about 1/4 Cup of olive oil while you blend.  You should feel the dressing tighten up, or emulsify.  Then, stop and taste.  Adjust salt level to your liking and add a touch of water to thin the dressing just a bit.

Yields about 1 Cup of dill deliciousness.

Now, onto the burger extravaganza!

1 lb ground turkey

1 medium zephyr squash, shredded

1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded

1 small spring onion, minced

1 bulb green garlic, plus a good 2 inches of the stalk, chopped (or 3 – 4 cloves regular garlic)

1 egg

small handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped

1 T or so fresh dill, chopped

1 T whole grain dijon mustard

a good couple pinches of salt (think of seasoning 4 burgers plus a bunch of veggies) and freshly ground pepper

Once you’ve shredded your carrots and squash, place them in a clean towel and wring them out over the sink to release any excess liquid.

Then, build your burger mixture in a large bowl.

Use your clean hands to incorporate all of the ingredients well.

Score your meat into quarters and form 4 patties.

Let your burgers set for about 20 minutes while you fire up your grill to medium high heat.  Be sure to clean and oil your grates (safely).  And then brush or rub your burgers with olive oil or canola oil.

Place your burgers on the hot grill and cook about 7 – 8 minutes on the first side without moving.  Closing your lid will help the burgers cook evenly.

Meanwhile, you can gather your fixins and such.

Flip your burgers carefully and cook another 5 minutes on the second side before adding your cheese.  Continue to cook the burgers until they reach 165° in the middle, just another couple minutes.

Remove your burgers to a clean plate

and begin assembling!!!

We slathered our carrot top pesto mayonnaise on both sides of the bun.  Then, pickled radishes on the top half.

On the bottom half: burger, ripe tomato, and fresh lettuce.  Close it up, slice in half and serve alongside your crisp green salad.

Holy moly.  You might want to eat this in a room by yourself so you can mmmm and ahhh and groan in delight without restraint.  The flavor explosion of this burger is top notch.  Savory, moist, delectable.  You can really taste the fresh vegetables heightening the turkey to a place beyond its typical realm.  The pickled radishes brought serious pizazz, and my goodness, I was so happy to taste that ripe, juicy tomato.  Every bite- salad and burger alike- was exciting, impressive, and soul satisfying.  What a way to close out the weekend.

It is the most wonderful time of the year, my friends.  Jump on in and enjoy it like there’s no tomorrow.  And if you find yourself licking your fingers, then you’re doing it just right.

Happy cooking and eating to you,



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