These luscious burgers are the second dish our Iron Chef team attempted after our Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Gruyere Frittata.
The recipe came from the beautiful cookbook, Jerusalem written by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. The book was given to me by my dear friend, Dale and I have only made a handful of recipes from it so thought it was a good time to try another.
These burgers are moist from the zucchini and highly seasoned with fresh herbs and spices. A sour cream sauce, enhanced with the flavors of lemon, garlic and Middle East spice, Sumac serves as a bright condiment for serving alongside. The recipe made 18 appetizer sized burgers, but you could also make four, 4-ounce burgers from the mixture to serve for lunch or dinner (just adjust the cooking time).
We thought these were delicious as well and could foresee making something similar during the competition, especially if the secret ingredient turns out to be, you guessed it, zucchini! We realized as we were making them that the recipe called for finishing off the cooking in the oven. Since we know the competition is limited to using induction burners, we cooked the burgers low and slow in a pan on the stovetop until cooked through, an option you can do as well.
We plated the burgers for their beauty shot as a group…
And then played around with a possible Iron Chef presentation….
I will definitely make these burgers again, most likely to bring as an appetizer to a party. Think of them as an interesting alternative to crabcakes!
Check out my tips at the end of the recipe. Enjoy (and wish us luck!)
from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 large zucchini, coarsely grated (scant 2 cups)
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 1/2 tablespoons sunflower (or canola) oil, for searing
- scant 1/2 cup sour cream
- scant 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 small clove garlic, crushed
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon Sumac
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- First make the sour cream sauce by placing all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well and set aside or chill until needed.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs except the oil. Mix with your hands and then shape into about 18 burgers, each weighing about 1 1/2 ounces (3 Tablespoons of the mixture).
- Pour enough oil into a large frying pan to form a layer about 1/16 inch thick on the pan bottom. Heat over medium heat until hot, then sear the meatballs in batches on all sides. Cook each batch for about 4 minutes, adding oil as needed, until golden brown.
- Carefully transfer the seared meatballs to a baking sheet lined with waxed paper and place in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until just cooked through. Serve warm or at room temperature, with the sauce spooned over or on the side.
Tips from The Kitchen Scout
Use ground turkey and not ground white meat turkey as the former contains both white and dark meats and will lend so much more flavor and moisture to the burger. Using white meat only may result in a really dry burger. I usually have sumac in my pantry, but discovered I was out at the last minute. I checked online and a substitute for sumac is lemon zest and salt, so we just added more of both ingredients to the sauce.
I had been meaning to make these after seeing this post over a year ago. We finally got around to it last night for our Sunday family dinner, and we added the Jerusalem cookbook’s recipes for Basmati and wild rice with chickpeas, currants & herbs, and Clementine & almond syrup cake for dessert. This was one of the best dinners we have had in a long time. Fabulous flavors. These mini burgers will become a new favorite for entertaining, and I am so glad I made a double batch. I did not have sumac in the pantry, but went to Whole Foods where they had two different kinds. I mentioned that I was looking for a small quantity as I’d never used it before, and they slapped a sticker on the bottle and allowed me to try it for free. As promised, I will go back and share the Jerusalem cookbook recipe with them as well.
Thanks, Val, for the terrific inspiration!
You’re welcome, Sarah! Just thinking about those burgers makes me hungry. Such a marriage of flavors. How nice of Whole Foods to let you try the Sumac for free! Great customer service!