Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Greek inspired feast: kebab burger platter with a some very fine accompaniments

I've been remiss. To make up, I have prepared a mediterranean feast that is perfect for warm weather! Mr. K is a big fan of the delectable chickpea dip hummus and tabbouleh, in fact he is always pestering me to whip up a batch. Whip up a batch? Finally I got motivated and found a recipe for kebab burgers stuffed with a savory mixture of feta and spinach, which are delicious tucked into pita bread, slathered with with hummus and some tzatziki sauce along with a good scoop of tabbouleh! Yes, well sometimes us foodhoes just have to jump in take charge of things.

For the burgers:

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey breast
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 whole-wheat burger buns
1/4 English cucumber, thinly sliced
4 small leaves romaine lettuce, hard ribs removed


In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, oil, lemon juice, garlic, dill, and salt and pepper.

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the feta cheese, dill and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and stir to combine.

Divide the turkey into 4 equal sized rounds. Make 2 equal sized patties out of each round so you have 8 patties total. Put 2 tablespoons of the spinach-feta mixture onto half of the patties. Top with remaining patties working the turkey around the edges to seal burgers closed. Season the burgers on both sides with the salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Spray a nonstick grill pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat, or prepare the grill. Grill the patties until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

To serve, place a burger on the bottom half of each bun, top with about 2 tablespoons of yogurt Tzatziki sauce, then 2 or 3 cucumber slices and a lettuce leaf. Top with the other half of the bun and serve.

Tzatziki sauce

This is excellent as a dip or included as an essential component of a mediterranean feast.


16 ounces plain Greek style yogurt  (I use lowfat, don't like the texture of nonfat)

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped

Pinch kosher salt

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

5 to 6 mint leaves, finely minced

If you don't have Greek style yogurt, place the yogurt in a tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and drain for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Place the chopped cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and mint. Serve as a sauce for gyros. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups


Another essential dish from a mediterranean feast


1 cup bulghur wheat
1.5 cups boiling water
.25 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
.25 cup good olive oil
3.5 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (1 bunch)
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (1 bunch)
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (1 bunch)
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Place the bulghur in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir, then allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Add the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper; mix well. Season, to taste, and serve or cover and refrigerate. The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh sits for a few hours.


This is very good as part of a mediterranean feast.

4 garlic cloves
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water or liquid from the chickpeas, more if you need it
8 dashes hot sauce
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp. Smoked paprika


Turn on the food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop the garlic down the feed tube; process until it's minced. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Taste, for seasoning, and serve chilled or at room temperature.