Turkey Courgette Burgers with Yoghurt and Slaw
There are a few things I truly miss about Canadian summers: consistently hot weather, cottage country, and barbequed food. It’s practically impossible to recreate the flavours of the grill over a stovetop, regardless if you have the best cast iron grill pan or most delicious homemade bbq sauce. The smokiness and caramelization that occurs on foods over a hot flame are simply the best. Unfortunately for me I have no barbeque in my tiny flat, so I needed to improvise!
I had a hankering for a summery meal that could be made indoors so I turned to Ottolenghi once again for inspiration. I had made these turkey “burgers” once before and they were mediocre… that was before I knew how to really cook and go beyond the recipe to showcase flavour. This time I knew what I was after, so little by little I started to work around the recipe until I was happy with the end result. As I daydreamed about these burgers going on a real grill, I somehow managed to concoct something rather marvelous for being done in a fry pan. Packed with bright flavours of chili, ginger and coriander, these little burgers were surprisingly delicious. Turkey is very low in fat therefore dries out quickly, so the courgette helps quite a bit to add moisture back into them. If I were lucky enough to grill these I would add some breadcrumbs into the mix as its quite wet and probably wouldn’t hold up perfectly, however this is completely optional and you could go rogue and attempt to grill them as is. Don’t be shy with the quantities, if you like a little more of something or less of another just play around with it. Other fresh herbs can easily be added or substituted…think summertime so parsley, dill, basil would all work perfectly. Serve these up in buns or bun-less if you prefer, with a good dollop of sumac yoghurt and a hearty scoop of guacamole.
500g Turkey mince
1 egg, beaten lightly
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
3 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1 courgette, roughly grated
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 green chili, seeds removed and finely chopped
salt and pepper
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
2-3 limes, to serve
*1/2 cup breadcrumbs (optional)
- Combine the turkey mince, ground cumin, mint, coriander, garlic, ginger, chili and spring onions in a large bowl.
- Add the grated courgette and egg and mixing with your hands to combine. Season well with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Form into small patties (roughly 65g each) or larger ones for a proper burger. I managed to get 14 small patties out of the mix.
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C and line a tray with foil or baking parchment.
- Heat a non-stick fry pan with 1 tbsp of oil, in small batches brown the patties on all sides, adding more oil when needed.
- Place on the tray and bake in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes or until the turkey is no longer pink inside.
- Alternatively, preheat your barbeque to medium high heat. Lightly grease the rack with vegetable oil and cook the burgers for 4-5 minutes per side until done.
1 fennel bulb, tough stalk removed and finely sliced
¼ white cabbage, finely sliced
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 carrot, julienned
3 tbsp + 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, torn
½ red chili, seeds removed and finely chopped or sliced
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp tahini paste
1/2 tbsp warm water
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the fennel, cabbage, carrot, chili, onion and 3 tbsp of fresh mint. Cover and refriderate until needed.
- In a separate bowl, combine the pomegranate molasses, honey, tahini, water, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, ginger and whisk to combine. Season to taste. If too thick, dilute with lemon juice.
- Before serving, toss the slaw with the dressing and top with remaining mint leaves.
1 lime, zest and juice
½ lemon, juice
½ red chili, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1. In a small bowl, gently mash the avocado leaving larger chunks. Add the lemon juice, chili, fresh coriander, lime juice and zest and mix to combine. Season to taste. Keep refrigerated until needed.