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Tantalizing Turkish Tango Burgers with Mint Chutney

Overbearing mint consumed my herb garden, choking out the more polite aromatics. So, this recipe began as a search for something to do with mint. Naturally, Turkish cuisine came to mind. Then, all the other complementary flavors and textures for the burger seemed to just come together, and reminded me of a dance - a tango. The mint chutney uses even more mint, and is a tantalizing addition to the burger.


For Chutney:
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1-1/2 cups fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon sambal oelek
1 medium onion, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1/4 cup water, or as needed
For Burgers:
1 lb. ground lamb
1/3 cup finely chopped, dried apricots
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (prepared, from a jar)
1/4 cup tapenade
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato bruschetta (found in specialty stores or gourmet section of supermarket)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup chopped pine nuts
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
Oil for greasing the grill
6 Kaiser rolls split


To make the chutney, place all ingredients in a blender, and blend to a smooth paste (may need a little more water to make a paste). Place in a bowl, cover and set aside. Preheat a gas grill to medium-high. With hands, lightly mix all burger ingredients, and shape into 6 patties. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and grill, turning once, just until done, about 5 minutes on each side. During the last few minutes, place the split Kaiser rolls on the grill to toast. To serve, place burgers on the bottom half of the bun, spread with mint chutney, and top with top half of bun. Makes 6 servings.


If unable to find sambal oelek, use a small jalapeno pepper. I just like the extra dimension of flavor that sambal oelek provides with its heat. If unable to find tamarind paste, substitute lime juice, and if unable to locate sun-dried tomato bruschetta, use an equal amount of chopped sun-dried tomatoes. I like the crisp, herby taste of Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc with this burger. It really seems to go well with the mint and garlic flavors.