This is one of my favorite recipes right now. The flavors in the burgers combined with the lemon vinaigrette are so delicious. Just yum!
I experimented with both regular canned tuna (in water) and white Albacore tuna, and my family and I decided that the white Albacore tuna was much more suited to making burgers. The regular tuna made a kind of mushy burger, which wasn't nearly as nice.
When you're prepping your ingredients, make sure to finely mince the veggies, since they don't have a lot of time in the pan. If you cut them too big they won't cook enough. Also, when draining your tuna, just give it a squeeze with the lid. If you SQUEEZE it with the lid too much liquid comes out and the tuna gets pretty dry.
Flipping the burgers takes a bit of finesse. I use two spatulas to flip the burgers over because when I used just one the burgers kept breaking. I use one spatula to scoop the burger out of the pan and then gently place it on the business-end of the other spatula, which is turned upside-down, and then I use the first spatula to slide the burger back into the pan. (Maybe I needed to take pictures...)
Also, the creamy lemon vinaigrette for this recipe is really, really good, and you should use it for other things besides these tuna burgers. I've been successful keeping left-over vinaigrette in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
Note: This recipe makes 4 tuna burgers. I always double it so we have left-overs.
Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup green or red bell pepper, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/4 cup celery, minced
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 1/2 teaspoons dried dill
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
zest from 1 lemon
2 whole eggs
1 egg white
6 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed
1 12-oz can white Albacore tuna, drained
Olive or avocado oil for cooking
8 handfulls baby lettuce blend (2 handfulls for each burger)
1. For the vinaigrette, combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined. Set aside. Re-whisk before using.
2. In a large bowl, combine the bell pepper, onion, celery, bread crumbs, dill, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon zest, eggs, egg white, and spinach; mix well until evenly combined. Add the tuna and mix carefully until evenly combined with the vegetable mixture (I like to leave some larger pieces of tuna intact).
3. Use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to measure out level 1/2-cup scoops of the tuna mixture to form 4 4-inch patties; let them rest for a few minutes on a cutting board or tray.
4. Heat 2-3 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat and carefully transfer 2 to 3 patties to the pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes, carefully turn them over, and then cook for 3-5 more minutes. Remove them to a plate and keep them warm. Add a little more oil to the pan if needed and repeat with the remaining patties.
5. Put the lettuce in a large bowl, add some of the creamy vinaigrette (this is to taste, meaning add as much or as little of the vinaigrette as you like), and gently toss with tongs to coat the lettuce evenly. Divide the lettuce between 4 plates, top the lettuce with a tuna burger, drizzle the burger with additional vinaigrette, and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings, 1 tuna burger and 2 handfulls lettuce each. **My husband usually eats to burgers, so adjust the serving suggestion to your liking.