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Bulgarian Burgers With Roasted Pepper Spread

Bulgarian cuisine, similarly to Greek and Italian, is known for its flavorful and colorful dishes. The recipe I am submitting is my take on the traditional Bulgarian savory "meatballs" (kufte). The roasted pepper spread is another personal variation of a traditional Bulgarian dish (lutenica), which is usually served as an appetizer/ dip with cow's milk feta cheese and Kalamata olives.


1/2 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 pounds ground chuck
Roasted Pepper Spread
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, drained
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, oil packed
2 tablespoons oil from the tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 Portuguese rolls, split
3 cups spring mix greens


To prepare the patties, puree the onion and garlic in a blender or food processor. Add the finely chopped thyme and parsley, the cumin, bay leaf powder, salt, black pepper and Worcestshire sauce, and blend together. Place the meat in a large bowl and pour the seasoning mixture on top. Mix well, handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill. For the spread, place the peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, oil, garlic and salt in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Fold the finely chopped parsley in the spread and refrigerate until serving. When the grill is ready, brush the rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 minutes on each side for medium. In the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, on the cut side of each roll bottom, spread a thin layer of the roasted pepper spread, then place half a cup of spring mix greens, a patty, and 1 ½ tablespoons of the roasted pepper spread. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers. Violetta, Huntersville, NC


These burgers are favorites among our multi-national friends. I hope their original flavor will entice you, too.