Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Turkey & Zucchini Burgers with Green Onion & Cumin, by Melinda

I made these last night, and the burgers, together with the sour cream sauce--while neither low calorie nor low cholesterol--were absolutely spectacular!  This is my first foray into middle-eastern cooking (and spices!), so I was thrilled with the outcome. My inspiration was Jerusalem: a Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (I can't recommend the book highly enough--it's beautiful visually, the recipes are fabulous yet simple, and they have another cookbook called Plenty which is all vegetarian!)
Turkey Burgers--makes ~18 meatballs or about 10 small burgers. Vegetarians can substitute tofu for the turkey, while vegans can do that and also replace the egg and sour cream with vegan substitutes.

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 large zucchini, coarsely grated (a scant 2 cups)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large, free-range egg
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint (from the farm!)
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro (ditto!)
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed (I used a couple of our "fresh garlic" cloves)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • canola or sunflower oil for frying
Sour Cream & Sumac Sauce--While sumac powder may be unfamiliar to you, trust me--it lends a delightfully tart taste to the sauce. Many grocery stores now carry it; as well, you can purchase it online (e.g., click here).

  • scant 1/2 cup sour cream
  • scant 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sumac powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Make the sour-cream sauce first by putting all the ingredients in a small bowl or jar. Stir well & set aside or refrigerate. Ottolenghi makes his turkey mix into smallish meatballs which are seared first for ~4 minutes in a fry pan in canola oil, then baked in a 425 oven for 5 to 7 min. However, as noted above, I made mine into about 10 small burgers & then sauteed them on both sides in canola oil till they were browned and cooked through. So I'll give you those directions.

In a large bowl, mix together all the meat ingredients except the canola oil.  Mash it all together with your hands, mush, mush, mush. (If you use tofu, I'd recommend a soft tofu.) Store in fridge if you're not making the dish right away.

Pour enough oil into a large frying pan to make about 1/16th inch of oil. Heat on medium till hot, then add burgers that you've shaped with your hands from the mix (we got 10 from this recipe). Cook till  browned on one side, then flip with a spatula and brown the other side. To be certain the burgers are cooked through, cover the pan with a lid for ~5 min. Cut into a burger to be sure there's no pinkness left. Use a spatula to remove them from the pan and lay them on a few layers of toweling to soak off the extraneous oil. Serve warm or at room temp, with the sauce spooned over or on the side.  Bliss!!!!
Available in stores or online

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