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Mediterranean Veggie Burgers & Tzatziki Spread

I’ve been on the search for recipes that I can serve at the end of the grocery week, when we don’t have any meat on hand. I want to have something that I can grab from the pantry to create a main dish. These Mediterranean Burgers are from Eating Well and are surprisingly tasty with flavors such as, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, basil and garlic. As an added bonus, this burger uses hulled millet, which is high in fiber.

I doubled the recipe and ended up with 12+ medium-sized burgers, which stretched for a few days. From what I’ve tried so far the recipe is flexible, as long as you get the consistency right. The burgers themselves remind me of falafel. They are cooked the same way. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I made a Tzatziki Spread (Tzatziki is a yogurt dip which often includes dill, cucumber, lemon and is sometimes served with falafel). Eating Well serves these burgers with an Olive Ketchup recipe, which looks great, but my family isn’t a big fan of Kalamata olives. These burgers are a great foundation for any spread olive or tzatziki. I wonder if these would work well frozen, pre-cooked? (Hmmm, I’ll post results.)

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers

Ingredients

(c=cup, T=tablespoon, t=teaspoon)
8 sun-dried tomatoes, (not packed in oil)
3 c vegetable broth, or water
1 c millet, rinsed  (I used Bob’s Red Mill Hulled Millet)
1/2 t salt
extra-virgin olive oil (for sauteing)
1 large onion, chopped (could use 2 – I only used 1)
6 c lightly packed baby spinach, stems trimmed (I only used 3 cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 c crumbled feta cheese
2 T chopped fresh basil
1-2/3 c fine dry breadcrumbs
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
14 whole-wheat English muffins, or whole-wheat buns (or pita bread)
Arugula & sliced tomatoes, for garnish

Olive Ketchup and/or Tzatziki Spread

Directions

  1. Place sun-dried tomatoes in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain and finely chop; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, bring broth (or water) to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in millet and salt; return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the millet is tender and liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork; transfer to a plate to cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  3. While the millet cooks, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and light brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Gradually stir in spinach; cover and cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted, 30 to 60 seconds. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate; let cool for about 10 minutes.
  4. Prepare Olive Ketchup or Tzatziki Spread, if using (below).
  5. Place the millet in a food processor and pulse to mix lightly. Add the spinach mixture and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in the feta, basil, breadcrumbs, pepper and the reserved sun-dried tomatoes; mix well.
  6. With dampened hands, form the mixture into seven 1/2-inch-thick patties, using about 1/2 cup for each. (I used a heaping 1/4 cup)
  7. Using 2 teaspoons oil per batch, cook 3 to 4 patties at a time in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned and heated through, about 4 minutes per side. Toast English muffins (or buns). Garnish the burgers with arugula, tomatoes and Olive Ketchup or Tzatziki Spread, if desired.

Olive Ketchup

Ingredients

(c=cup, T=tablespoon, t=teaspoon)
1/2 c Kalamata olives, pitted
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
2 scallions, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 t red-wine vinegar
2 t tomato paste

Instructions

  1. Combine olives, parsley, scallions, garlic, oil and vinegar in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl and mix in tomato paste.
  2. Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Tzatziki Spread

Ingredients

(c=cup, T=tablespoon, t=teaspoon)
2/3 c plain Greek Yogurt

2 T minced parsley
2 scallions, sliced (or for lighter flavor, 3 tablespoons minced chives)
1 T dill, dried
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 t kosher salt
2 T olive oil
1 cucumber sliced (optional)

Directions

Combine ingredients from yogurt to olive oil in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate to allow flavor to develop. (Don’t add cucumber to this dip due to high-water content, which could make the spread soupy.) Serve spread with sliced cucumber.
© Dorene Krausnick and KrausnicKitchen 2011-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (text and images) without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dorene Krausnick and KrausnicKitchen with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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    © Dorene Krausnick and KrausnicKitchen 2011-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dorene Krausnick and KrausnicKitchen with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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