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Thanksgiving Burger with Acorn Squash Pecan Puree

Thanksgiving dinner can be had any time of year with this burger, which pulls together some of my Thanksgiving favorites. The burger is juicy and slightly tangy with the wine and cranberries, and the squash puree is rich and smooth.


Pecan and Acorn Squash Puree:
1 medium acorn squash
¼ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup half and half
2 pounds extra-lean ground turkey
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup dried, sweetened cranberries
¼ cup instant potato flakes
¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup Sutter Home Pinot Grigio
vegetable oil, for brushing grill rack
6 potato buns, split
3 teaspoons butter, softened
3 ounces pre-washed field greens
2 tablespoons chopped pecans


Pre-heat a gas grill to medium high heat, about 400 degrees F. To make the Acorn Squash Pecan Puree, cut the squash into fourths, clean out the seeds and place flesh-side down on the grill rack. Cook, with the cover closed, 10 to 12 minutes (check occasionally to ensure flesh is not burning). Turn the squash over, with skin side down, and cook another 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from grill when a fork easily penetrates the flesh when tested. Total cook time is approximately 25 minutes. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh out of each section of squash and transfer the flesh to a 2-quart, fireproof saucepan, with a lid. Mash the flesh with a potato masher, just enough to break up the squash chunks. Stir in ¼ cup pecans, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 ½ salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Place the saucepan onto the grill rack and cook, stirring often, 10 to 15 minutes, or until the squash if very soft and all ingredients are well combined. Remove from heat and add the half and half. Thoroughly combine the ingredients using an emersion/stick blender until squash mixture reaches a smooth consistency (or transfer the ingredients to a food processor and puree until smooth). Cover and set aside. To make the patties, combine the ground turkey, 2 teaspoons salt, black pepper, Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, cranberries, mashed potato flakes, chicken broth and Sutter Home Pinot Grigio in a large bowl. Mix well, while handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties sized to fit the rolls. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, each side 4 to 6 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. During the last few minutes of cooking, brush the cut side of the buns with the softened butter and place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, place a mound of field greens (about ½ ounce), followed by a patty on the bottom cut side of each bun. Spread 2 tablespoons of the Pecan and Acorn Squash Puree on top of each patty, followed by 1 teaspoon of pecans. Add the bun tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers


Please note that salt, butter and pecans are used more than once in this recipe and the quantities are noted in the instructions to avoid confusion.