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Entertaining Idea: Cheese & Fennel Burger Tasting


Fennel is in obsession season, and it gives a fresh anise-flavored surprise to burgers and meatballs plus the mushroom buns are less filling than bread so you can eat LOTS.

Mini Fennel Turkey Burger on a Mushroom Bun Appetizer1. Chive 2. Gorgonzola Cheese 3. Turkey Burger 4. Shallot 5. Plum Tomato 6. Baby Bella Mushroom 7. Fennel Seed

Greetings, My Little Plum Tarts. Eating mini fennel burgers is as gouda reason as any to have a dinner party. That’s right, friends…are you thinking what I’m thinking? Cheese and Mini Burger Tasting!

Standard cheese tastings include: wine, quince paste…yadda, yadda, yummers. However, for a creative and casual cheese tasting, try pairing cheeses with a juicy burger appetizer. Invite your friends to a cheesy summer celebration! Here’s what you do…

Entertaining Idea: Cheese & Fennel Burger Tasting

1. Make the mini fennel burger recipe.
Mini fennel turkey burger patties picture

2. Place various cheeses on a platter. Here are some of my favorite cheeses for burgers…

  • Gorgonzola: similar to blue cheese. Gorgonzola is creamy, tangy, and with a strong flavor.
  • Drunken Goats Milk: Tangy, medium-flavor, similar to goat cheese but dry with smooth texture.
  • Gruyere: A variation of Swiss cheese, it’s mild but drier and sharper than Swiss (it’s delicious in macaroni and cheese).
  • Smoked Gouda: Smooth texture, mild smoky-flavor and a semi-dry cheese.
  • Gjetost: Sweet caramel flavor, made from goat’s milk with a buttery texture.

3. Invite your friends and try each cheese on a mini fennel burger. Enjoy with your favorite summer wine.

Mini Fennel Burger on a Bella Mushroom Bun Recipe
serves 10

1 lb. Ground turkey
1 Egg, beaten
1 Tbsp Fennel seeds
4 Garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup breadcrumbs, more if needed
2 tsp Kosher salt
½ tsp Freshly ground black pepper
2 Small Roma tomatoes, thin slice
1 Shallot, thin sliced
10 Baby Bella, halved lengthwise
10 Baguette, sliced ¼-inch thick
Gorgonzola crumbles
6 Chives, cut 1-inch long
1/4 Cup Olive oil

Preheat oven to 300.

1. Cut all vegetables and bread. Lightly drizzle olive oil on baguette slices and place on a sheet tray. Bake baguettes until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and rub a garlic clove over warm baguette slices. Set aside.

2. Mix turkey, egg, garlic, fennel seeds, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper with your hands. Roll mixture into small rounds, about the size of a ping-pong ball. Gently flatten balls to ½-inch thick patties.

3. Place large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Lightly coat pan with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Once the oil warms, add the fennel patties. Cook patties until brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Set patties aside on a paper towel-lined plate.

4. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to the same pan, once the oil warms add halved mushrooms caps, brown side down. Sear mushrooms until golden brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes.

Place mushrooms and baguette buns on a platter, add tomatoes, shallots, and turkey patties on top. Garnish burgers with cheese and place a chive on top, enjoy!

Extras: Fennel Meatball Magic
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Turn mini fennel burgers into fennel meatballs by rolling the raw turkey mixture into ping-pong sized balls. Bake them on an olive oil-coated sheet tray for 15 minutes and simmer them in your favorite tomato sauce until cooked through.

Photography by Brandon Maya Johnson

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April permalink
    10 am

    I love burger breakdown image. I can always use a entertaining ideas, thnaks for the cheeseburger!
    – April

    • brandon maya permalink*
      10 pm

      Hi April,
      Who doesn’t like a burger close up? I hope you make these at you next dinner party, they take about 6 minutes to cook and tastes deeeeelish!

  2. Maxie Allen permalink
    10 pm

    Nice photos. Is fennel a licorice flavor? Not sure that will go with burgers.

    • brandon maya permalink*
      10 pm

      Hi Maxie. Fennel is used for a lot of savory dishes, including fish, meatballs and the like. Next time you make burgers, make one patty with fennel seeds, sample it and let me know if you like it. And you can always have a cheese burger tasting without them, enjoy!

  3. 10 am

    That. Looks. Amazing! A classy looking burger!

    I especially like the Gorgonzola cheese idea. Genius! 🙂

    • brandon maya permalink*
      10 am

      Thanks Chughtai! The cheese makes the burger.


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