It’s summer! Finally. What better way to celebrate than with a fat, juicy burger?
I’m usually a burger traditionalist — give me some bacon, cheddar, and barbecue, and I’m a happy girl. Then there was last summer’s favorite, stuffed with stilton and topped with onion jam. But this Greek Burger, laden with feta and spices and slathered with cool, tangy tzatziki sauce? I’m pretty sure this will be making frequent appearances on our table from now on. Especially since it pairs so naturally with a greek salad instead of unhealthy pastas salads or fries. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect meal to get my summer started.
The idea for this burger had been in the back of my mind for a few days, but when I found this beautiful fresh, local garlic at the farmer’s market (along with a crate of cucumbers that were marked down to a dollar because they were “ugly”) I knew it was time to act. We debated turkey vs. lamb vs. beef for a while before settling on lean beef — it was far leaner than the lamb, and I always get nervous cooking ground turkey (which had very similar nutritional stats to the beef anyway). By the time you finish mixing the meat together with the feta cheese and gyro seasonings, I don’t think the choice of protein really makes a ton of difference flavor-wise.
Burger Shaping Tip: Tired of your burgers shrinking in diameter as they cook? As you form your burger, press your thumb into the center to create a shallow crater about 1/3 the diameter of the patty. As your burger heats and the center puffs up, it will rise to fill in the crater instead of pulling the edges in. As a result, the burger will have a smooth top and a diameter that is almost identical to the raw patty that you formed.
Mixing feta into these burgers means you can use lean ground beef without sacrificing flavor or substance. The tangy yogurt and cucumber sauce is a refreshing alternative to other traditional toppings. Be sure to have plenty extra on hand, because your guests might really want to pile it on! The burgers can be cooked on a grill or in a pan on the stovetop.
- 1 lb. 93% lean ground beef
- 2 ounces reduced fat feta, crumbled
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp diced red onion
- 2 clove garlic, grated and divided
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 6-ounce container of fat-free plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cucumber
- 2 Tbs fresh dill
- Salt to taste
- Rolls, sliced red onion, and lettuce for serving
- To make the burgers: combine the beef, feta, oregano, 1 clove grated garlic, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to gently combine the ingredients. Form into four patties that are the same diameter as your rolls — the patties should be slightly thicker at the edges with a slight indentation in the middle. Let the burgers rest while you prepare the tzatziki.
- To prepare the tzatziki: Peel your cucumber and grate it using the coarse side of a box greater (alternately, you can shred it using a vegetable peeler). In a small dish, combine the yogurt, cucumber, 1 clove grated garlic, and dill. Season to taste with salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Grill the burgers over a medium flame for approximately 5 minutes on each side (you can also cook them on the stovetop in a pan set over medium heat) or until they are cooked to your desired level of doneness.
- Serve with rolls, lettuce, red onion, and tzatziki.
(Note the nutrition information does not contain the roll, which can vary significantly from brand to brand)
Don’t forget to enter my lentil giveaway and to vote for my pea & herb stuffed flatbread in the Recipe Rivalry! (You can vote once per day until the 23rd)
I’m submitting this recipe to Regional Recipes: Greece