Sunday, April 28, 2013

Turkey Zucchini Burgers with Sour Cream & Sumac Sauce

One wouldn’t think that zucchini and ground turkey would make a tasty burger. However, that would be before you became familiar with the version Foodie made on Wednesday from the Jerusalem Cookbook.

I had never heard of the Jerusalem Cookbook.  This book is a beautifully illustrated journey through the ancient city, rich in history and dappled with culinary diversity.  Early in the book the writers ask the readers to consider the many cultures that inhabit the city…people from Libya, France, Britain, Palestine, Romania, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Israel just to name a few.   The collection of recipes in the book are highly influenced by the city’s eclectic pedigree…recipes inspired by the author’s early food experiences – shaped by many different cultures.  Each recipe help the writers to reminisce about the city they call home even though they haven’t lived there for twenty years! 

As I paged through the book, some of these recipes simply spoke to me.  For instance, Chicken with Caramelized Onion & Cardamom Rice, or Kofta b’siniyah (Palestinian meatballs), Slow Cooked Veal with Prunes and Leaks, Herb Pie and Mutabbaq (a pastry filled with ricotta and pistachios and glazed with a citrus syrup).  As you know, I love anything to do with citrus.

So perhaps you now have a sense for why Foodie wanted to make Turkey and Zucchini Burgers Green Onion & Cumin. These delicious burgers are topped with a tangy Sour Cream and Sumac Sauce.  Sumac, a spice with a tart flavor, is a common ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking.  Foodie wanted to use za’atar -- a combination of sesame seeds, sumac and ground za’atar (a spice with a savory marjoram-oregano flavor) but did not have any in her pantry.  She mentioned this to a co-worker and the little dear brought her some….we were all very happy he did!

Turkey and Zucchini Burgers with Green Onion & Cumin
From:  Jerusalem Cookbook

1 lb ground turkey
1 large zucchini, grated
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons chopped mint
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
 ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Sunflower oil for searing, about 6 Tablespoons

Sour Cream & Sumac Sauce
½ cup sour cream
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 ½ Tablespoons olive
1 Tablespoon sumac (Foodie used za’atar which can be found in a Mediterranean food store)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

First, make the sauce by mixing all ingredients together, stir well and chill until needed.

Preheat the over to 425°.  In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the burgers except the sunflower oil. Mix with your hands and then shape into 18 burgers, each weighing about 1 ½ oz.

Pour enough sunflower oil into a large frying pan to form a layer on the bottom of the pan.  Heat over medium heat until hot, then sear the burgers in batches on all sides.  Don’t crowd the burgers, they won’t brown properly.  Add more oil as needed until all burgers are golden brown.

Transfer the seared burgers to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the oven for 5-7 minutes.  Serve warm with the sauce spooned over or on the side.   I was so eager to eat these that I forgot to take a photo of a plated burger smothered with the sauce....sorry!

Foodie served the burgers with a flatbread made from pizza dough.  A wonderful dinner.

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