Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Middle Eastern-Spiced Turkey & Zucchini Sliders (or lettuce wraps!)

Middle Eastern-Spiced Turkey and Zucchini Sliders with Creamy Sumac Sauce

Every so often we have a meal that absolutely blows us away.  These little sliders may look humble and unassuming, but don't be fooled:  this has been unanimously voted to be the best meal we've had all year!  I believe it was Caroline who loudly proclaimed "best dinner EVER" as we finished up.  I try not to be overly-effusive about every meal I share with you guys, so trust me when I tell you that these are absolutely fan-freaking-tastic!

These little patties are made up of ground turkey, zucchini, lots of fresh herbs, and cumin.  And then you serve them with a tangy and creamy sumac sauce.  They can also be served any number of ways:  Joey ate his as sliders, Caroline ate hers as-is, dipping them in the sauce, and I made lettuce wraps out of mine.  I chopped up the leftover patties and ate them on a salad with tons of veggies, and thinned out the sumac sauce to use as a dressing -- also highly recommend this vehicle!    The burgers are super flavorful from the zucchini and fresh herbs, with a nice smokiness and spice from the cumin and cayenne.  It's been almost a month since we ate these, and my mouth still waters when I think about that dinner.

I served these sliders with root veggie fries, and we all loved dipping them in the sauce as well.  Really, this sauce should become a staple condiment, one that you keep on hand for pretty much everything!

Sadly, my local Williams-Sonoma closed in January, and I was lucky enough to snag a copy of Ottolenghi's Jerusalem for an absolute steal.  This was the first recipe I've made from it, but I have a ton flagged and saved to make soon.  And if any of them are half as good as these burgers, then I'm definitely in for a treat.  Now go make these sliders!

Middle Eastern-Spiced Turkey and Zucchini Lettuce Wraps with Creamy Sumac Sauce

Middle Eastern-Spiced Turkey and Zucchini Sliders
adapted from Ottolenghi's Jerusalem
makes 16-18 burgers

  • 1 large zucchini, shredded on the large holes of a cheese grater (about 2 cups of grated zucchini)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 3 green onions, minced
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh mint
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 Tbs canola oil
First, make the sauce (recipe below) by whisking al the ingredients together in a small bowl.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside or refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the burgers, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Wrap the zucchini in  a lint-free kitchen towel and squeeze over the sink to remove as much moisture as possible.

Combine all of the ingredients (up to the oil) in a large bowl.  Mix with your hands or a fork.  Shape into about 18 burgers, each weighing about 1.5 oz/45 g (this is really easy if you have a kitchen scale).  At this point, the patties can be chilled for several hours in the refrigerator, or you can proceed with the recipe.

Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat.  Carefully add about half the patties to the pan, and cook about 2 minutes per side.  Repeat with the remaining oil and patties.

As you finish cooking the patties on the stovetop, transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, and arrange in a single layer.  Cook the patties for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are cooked through.  

Serve with the sauce, either as sliders, lettuce wraps, or as-is.

Sumac-Sour Cream Sauce
  • scant 1/2 cup sour cream (low-fat is fine, but avoid fat-free)
  • scant 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs sumac


Josie said...

I forgot how much I loved these babies! Really, truly one of
the best meals that’s ever come out of my kitchen—although yours look much
prettier than mine. ;) I rarely repeat recipes, but I’m ready to make these
again, stat!

Josie said...

Love, love, love Jerusalem! take a look at a few of my favorites: page 195 - lamb kofta; page 120 - mejadra; page 111 - pasta w/ yogurt, peas etc - so simple, terrific, a real winner; page 106 - rice w/ chickpeas; page 54 - swiss chard fritters. all so good - so fresh.

Josie said...

Oooh thanks!! I get so overwhelmed by all the choices when I thumb through it -- thanks for your recommendations!

Josie said...

We couldn't believe how much we loved them either!

Josie said...

Not surprised this blew you away. What a delicious combo of spices to
put a little zing into the turkey and zucchini!

Josie said...

Any suggestions for substitutions for sumac? I've been to a few places and can't seem to find it. Thanks!

Josie said...

Leanne - you can get sumac or za'atar (which contains sumac) from Penzey's online - I think they're running a spend $20 free shipping thing right now. If you only make one thing from Jerusalem make the pasta with yogurt - seriously simple, seriously delicious

Josie said...

Try myspice sage they offer free shipping all the time.

DennisseTiu said...

I cant wait to do my own version... thanks for sharing this healthy food
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Josie said...

simple yet so healthy.. this is good for my diet :)

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Josie said...

These were so good and easy to make, as my sister said "a very juicy burger"!

Josie said...

I love this burger, it looks healty
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Josie said...

These were amazing! Thank you for sharing with us! Unexpectedly fabulous but easy enough for busy week nights.

Josie said...

So yummy! Made these tonight for dinner, and they were a real hit. The sauce is unbelievably good! I wasn't able to find sumac but a google search suggested lemon pepper as a substitute, and it worked quite well. I can't wait to try it again with the sumac, as I'm sure it'll be even tastier.

Thanks for such a delicious recipe!

Josie said...

yay, Meg! So glad you liked them, an good to know about lemon pepper!

Josie said...

so glad to hear this, Erika! We are having them again this week too!

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