Tilapia Burgers with Watermelon Salsa + Avocado.
I’m not sure. I have no idea. I lost all track of time yesterday because as I was attempting to get my fill of trashy weekday reruns, my husband clicked to his full DVRed queue of Duck Dynasty. Duck Dynasty?, I thought. Oh cool. Maybe it’s something like The Mighty Ducks. Like a final Mighty Ducks movie that I never got to see. Man I loved those movies. I totally knew Pacey was hot before like, Pacey was hot.
Anyway? This whole Duck Dynasty thing? Definitely not the Mighty Ducks. I mean, definitely. I am scarred. For life. And shockingly this is SOMEONE”s favorite show. Like so favorite, that he references it constantly and quotes it 63 times a day. I feel like I’m living inside Duck Dynasty, besides the whole… well… just google it.
One of the only tasks I managed to accomplish was making a healthy lunch, and I was hopeful that it would lead to leftovers for some dinners this coming week. The temperature has been warm here, like summery warm, like TOO summery warm because you know it’s too good to be true and next week it will be like 36 degrees outside. But who cares. Live in the moment! We were craving something fresh but filling, something wholesome but fun.
A few weeks ago I picked up some mahi mahi burgers at Whole Foods and honestly… have been eating them like they’re going out of style. I was super hesitant at first but I ended up LOVING them. So much so that I ate one every single day last week. Mostly covered in guacamole. Sometimes covered in BBQ sauce. Next time covered in crispy onion straws. And I’ve been wanting to make them myself but here in, um, tropical Pittsburgh, I don’t always have the easiest access to that fish. It takes planning and strategy and patience to find that fish, all qualities that do not enter my brain.
I was afraid the tilapia would be weak in flavor and too light for a burger, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I pulled inspiration from my BBQ salmon burgers and simple crab cakes, hoping that a mesh of the two would lead to big taste. These burgers are in a word – hearty. We both thought the texture nearly resembled ground chicken or turkey and while the flavor was bursting, it is mild and neutral enough to take on another topping. Like say, ketchup. Which you know my husband was just dyyyyying to squirt on top.
But after I begged him to try it with the salsa stacked on top, streaming with lime juice and crunching with crispness, that red condiment stayed firmly in the fridge. That is huge.
That says… well, everything.
Tilapia Burgers with Watermelon Salsa + Avocado
makes 6 burgers
1 1/2 pounds fresh (or frozen and thawed) tilapia
2/3 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg + 1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup cubed watermelon, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
the juice of 1 lime
whole wheat buns
Add tilapia to a food processor and pulse until chopped. Transfer to a bowl and add egg, panko, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder and basil. Mix until combined, then form tilapia into patties (form tightly with your hands, trying to prevent cracking). Heat a skillet oven medium heat and add half of the olive oil, then cook patties until golden on each side, about 3-4 minutes. Repeat with remaining burgers.
While burgers are cooking, combine watermelon, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice with a pinch of salt. Once burgers are ready, serve on toasted buns with avocado slices and salsa on top.
And then I accidentally on purpose deleted the entire DVR.