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Kafta Burger

Being of Lebanese origin, I came up with this recipe one day while grilling one night for my family. The idea was to combine the very American burger with traditional Lebanese grilled fair. Kafta is a very flavorful combination of beef (or lamb) with parsley onions and spices. It is traditionaly prepared by patting the mixture around scewers and grilling. As a kid, I remember having Kafta with a side of Hummus and this wonderful onion-sumac relish. Combining the Kafta and sides on a bun gave me a glimpse back to my childhood days and offered a wonderful meal for my family.


For the patties -
1 lb. ground beef (80/20)
1/2 cup finely chopped curly leaf parsley
1 medium Vidalia (or other sweet) onion, very finely chopped
2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground cinamon
1/2 tsp. salt
Whole wheat hamburger buns
For the Hummus -
2 cans garbanzo beans
Juice of 2 lemons
3/4 cup of tahini (sesame paste)
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
For onion relish -
1 large Vidalia (or other sweet) onion
1/2 tsp. sumac Olive oil
Topping -
Thick slices of ripe beefsteak tomatoes


Hummus - In a food processor, place the garlic, lemon juice and salt, and process until the garlic is copmletely crushed. Drain the the garbanzo beans preserving some of the liquid in one of the cans. Add the beans and process until very smooth. Add the tahini and process until blended. Relish - Peal and cut the onion in half. Slice each half and seperate into a bowl. Add the sumac and blend well. Kafta Patties - Combine beef, parsley, allspice, cinamon, onion, and salt in a bowl. Mix well. Form into thin patties (about 1/2 inch thick) - should make about 5 or 6. Preparation - Grill the patties for 2-3 minutes per. side. Remove from grill and toast the buns for about 30 seconds. Spread hummus on each side of the bun. Place a kafta patty on the bun and top with a generous portion of onion relish. Top with tomato slice (optional). Enjoy!


If you would like to taste this wonderful burger, please invite me to cook it for you! :)