Middle Eastern Burgers
Exotic-tasting spices and chopped prunes give Middle-Eastern flair to this succulent, healthy burger recipe. Serve the burgers with the cool, savory yogurt sauce and slices of ripe tomato, lettuce and sharp red onion.
- 1 6-ounce container (3/4 cup) nonfat plain yogurt
- 1/3 cup bulgur (see Tip)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water, divided
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 small)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
- 1/3 cup pitted prunes, finely chopped (2 ounces)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 12 ounces lean ground beef (90% or leaner)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon salt plus 1/8 teaspoon, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 small whole-wheat pita breads
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Line a sieve or colander with cheesecloth and set over a bowl, leaving at least 1/2-inch clearance from the bottom. (Alternatively, use a coffee filter lined with filter paper.) Spoon in yogurt, cover and let drain in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour, while you prepare the burgers.
- Combine bulgur with 1/2 cup warm water in a small bowl; let soak until the bulgur is tender and most of the water has been absorbed, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain any excess liquid. 3. Meanwhile, preheat grill.
- Meanwhile, preheat grill.
- Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring often, until it softens, about 4 minutes. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and prunes; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. (Don’t let the garlic burn.) Stir in cumin, coriander and allspice; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons water; cook until it is absorbed, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Combine beef, egg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, the onion-prune mixture and the bulgur in a mixing bowl; mix thoroughly. Shape into four 3/4-inch-thick patties.
- Lightly oil the grill rack (hold a piece of oil-soaked paper towel with tongs and rub it over the grate). Grill the burgers over medium heat, turning once, until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Warm pitas on the grill, if desired.
- To prepare sauce, whisk the drained yogurt, the remaining 1 clove minced garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt and olive oil in a small bowl. (Discard the whey.) Serve the burgers with the pitas and sauce.
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the sauce (Steps 1 & 7) for up to 1 day. Stir before using.
- Fiber-rich bulgur is made from whole-wheat kernels that are precooked, dried and cracked. You can find it in natural-foods stores and large markets.
Per serving: 376 calories; 13 g fat (4 g sat, 5 g mono); 103 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 10 g total sugars; 26 g protein; 6 g fiber; 457 mg sodium; 648 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin B12 (38% daily value), Zinc (36% dv), Iron (20% dv), Magnesium & Potassium (19% dv)
Carbohydrate Servings: 2
Exchanges: 2 1/2 starch, 3 lean meat
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- Ease of Preparation
- Total Time
- 1 hour or less
- Main Ingredient
- Middle Eastern