RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Istanbul Burger with Pistachio Sauce

I tried to capture the flavors of Turkey in the pistachio sauce and spices in the burger, adding the feta cheese to temper the cayenne.


1-1/4 cups shelled unsalted pistachios
1/2 cup EACH fresh mint and flat-leaf parsley leaves
6 medium cloves garlic, divided
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2-3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
2 pounds ground beef chuck
1/4 cup drained, rinsed and minced capers
3 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons EACH ground allspice and cayenne pepper
Oil for brushing grill rack
3 large pita pockets, halved
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese with basil and tomato


Heat barbecue grill to medium-hot. Place pistachios, mint, parsley and 2 cloves garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and add oil, lemon juice and zest and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

Combine ground beef, 4 minced cloves garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, capers and all spices. Handling meat as little as possible, mix well and shape into 6 patties, formed to fit the pitas. 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 pitas on edge of grill to lightly toast both sides.

Spread pistachio sauce on inside of pitas. Place patties on top and top with 2 tablespoons feta cheese each.


The flavors in this burger are wonderful with the minty-lemony pistachio sauce & spicy burger, tempered with the feta cheese.