Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mini Turkey and Zucchini Burgers with Creamy Sumac Dipping Sauce

These Mini Turkey and Zucchini Burgers are exploding with flavor (zucchini, green onions, mint, cilantro, garlic, cumin and cayenne).  In addition to their wonderful flavor, these burgers are also incredibly moist.  In fact, the mixture was so moist I had to add breadcrumbs in order to shape the patties.   

These burgers are tasty all on their own, but they are absolutely addictive when paired with this refreshing and creamy sumac dipping sauce.  For those of you who have not tried sumac, it is a bright red spice that is popular in Middle Eastern cooking.  Sumac is usually described as sour, but I don't feel like that's a positive or accurate description.  I would describe sumac as a colorful, bright, and refreshing spice that is reminiscent of citrus.  I'm crazy for the bright red color and the special zip it adds to dishes. 

I took some liberties with the recipe for the sumac dipping sauce.  Originally, the dip was made with a base of sour cream and Greek yogurt.  I don't care for sour cream so I decided to sub mayonnaise in place of the sour cream/yogurt base.  My substitution worked perfectly and the recipe below reflects my change.  I will, however, add a special note for those of you who might like to try the recipe as it was written, with the sour cream/yogurt base.  

Mini Turkey & Zucchini Burgers with Creamy Sumac Dipping Sauce
Adapted from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi
Makes about 18 burgers (serves 4-6)

1 pound ground turkey
2 cups grated zucchini 
3 green onions, thinly sliced
about 1/2 cup panko or breadcrumbs
1 large egg
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
about 6-1/2 tablespoons canola oil, for searing

Creamy Sumac Dipping Sauce
heaping 1/2 cup mayo
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sumac
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Note: This recipe was originally written to include a scant 1/2 cup sour cream plus a scant 2/3 cup Greek yogurt.  If you'd prefer this option then simply omit the mayo in the above recipe and replace it with the sour cream and Greek yogurt.  All other ingredients remain the same. 

First make the creamy sumac sauce by placing all the ingredients in a small bowl.  Stir well and set aside or chill until needed. 

Preheat the oven to 425F.  In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the burgers except the canola oil.  Mix with your hands and then shape into about 18 patties/burgers, each weighing about 1-1/2 ounces.

Pour enough canola oil into a large frying pan to form a layer about 1/16 inch on the pan bottom.  Heat over medium heat until hot, then sear the burgers in batches on all sides.  Cook each batch for about 4 minutes, adding oil as needed, until golden brown.

Carefully transfer the seared burgers to a baking sheet or cast iron skillet, as I've done here, and place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until just cooked through.  Serve warm or at room temperature, with the sauce spooned over on the side.

Theme: Mezze Madness!

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