Wednesday, September 17, 2014

turkey zucchini burgers with sumac sauce.

I realize I am 29 going on 30 and that at my age I shouldn't be looking for ways to sneak more vegetables into the foods I eat.  I should eat more vegetables willingly.

But in every 29 year old there lies a bit of their 5 year old self and for that reason I still look for ways to trick myself into eating more vegetables. (Because more vegetables is always a good thing.)  

The easiest way to add more vegetable deliciousness into your life is by combining vegetables with something that people love.  Tacos will always and forever be my favorite vegetable vehicle (you can stuff anything in a tortilla and have it taste awesome, true fact) but meatballs and burgers are a superb alternative when you are looking to try something new.  Vegetables, especially grated vegetables, manage to melt into the meat as it cooks which means they become practically invisible to the eyes of those that hate green things.  

These turkey zucchini burgers may be one of the greatest things ever. There is one whole zucchini packed in there along with a plethora of herbs and spices which helps to create one incredibly moist and delicious patty. They are pretty excellent on there own but when smothered in sumac sauce they become positively addicting. 

Turkey Zucchini "Burgers" with Sumac Sauce
Recipe from Jerusalem: A Cookbook 

For the Meatballs

1 pound (300g) ground turkey
1 large zucchini, coarsely grated (scant 2 cups/200g)
3 green onions, thinly sliced (chives also work brilliantly as I was out of green onions)
1 large free-range egg
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
About 6 1/2 teaspoons sunflower oil (canola oil will work too)

For the Sauce

Scant 1/2 cup (100g) sour cream
Scant 2/3 cup (150g) Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sumac
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

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

Preheat the oven to 425F/220C. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs except the sunflower oil. Mix with your hands. Using a tablespoon (or a regular spoon), scoop about 2 tablespoons of the turkey mixture and shape into about 18 patties.  Place patties on an oiled baking sheet.  

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.

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