RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Istanbul Burger with Feta Mayo

I used spices, mint and capers, which are common in Turkey plus feta cheese in a mayo mixture to cool the heat of the cayenne.


1/2 cup mayonnaise
6 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/2 cup feta cheese with basil and tomato, crumbled
2 pounds ground beef chuck
6 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup drained, rinsed and minced capers
3 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons EACH ground allspice, cayenne pepper and salt
Oil for brushing grill rack
6 hearty seeded sandwich rolls, split
1 bunch watercress, tough stems discarded


Heat barbecue grill to medium-hot.

Combine mayonnaise, yogurt and feta; set aside.

Combine ground beef, garlic, mint, capers and all spices. Handling meat as little as possible, mix well and shape into 6 patties, formed to fit the rolls. Brush grill rack with oil and grill burgers, covered, to desired degree of doneness, turning once, 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium. During last few minutes of cooking time, place rolls on edge of grill to lightly toast both sides.

Spread mayo in pita halves, then add a patty and a generous amount of watercress.


This is a delicious burger with an amalgam of flavors, redolent with smoky, sweet & hot spices, tempered with the feta mayo.