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GREEK TOWN BURGERS WITH MINTED TZATZIKI

After graduating from college, I moved to Chicago and lived in the Greek Town area of the city. The fragrances of Greek ingredients, the olive oil, oregano or cinnamon would waft out of restaurant doors, tempting me to come in and eat! Living in Greek Town influenced my cooking at home as I developed a repertoire of Mediterranean inspired meals, including this Greek Town burger. This burger captures the essence of that ethnic neighborhood, with the fresh mint yogurt sauce, the lemon, dill, Feta, olive oil and Greek salad topping. Although you would not traditionally see this burger in Greek Town restaurants, this burger celebrates the flavors of that neighborhood making it a great local American burger.

Ingredients 

Minted Tzatziki
1 8-ounce container Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh garlic
1/8 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

Greek Town Burgers
2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried dill leaves)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (Colavita brand)
1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
vegetable oil for brushing on grill rack
4 ounces crumbled Feta cheese (Treasure Cave brand)

Greek salad topping
2 small plum tomatoes, very thinly sliced
1/3 cup very thinly sliced green bell peppers
1/3 cup very thinly sliced unpeeled cucumbers (Persian or European cucumbers)
1/4 cup very thinly sliced red onions
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (Colavita brand)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

6 sesame seed topped rolls, cut in half horizontally

Instructions 

Combine tzatziki ingredients; mix well. Cover and set aside.
Prepare a gas grill for medium-high heat. To make the patties, in a large bowl combine the burger ingredients, turkey, Parmesan, bread crumbs, parsley, dill, oil, garlic, zest, salt and pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Shape into six equal patties, formed to fit the rolls.
When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Evenly divide Feta on burgers 3 to 4 minutes before burgers are done. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the rack to toast very lightly, about 1 minute.
Meanwhile combine Greek salad ingredients, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, oil, vinegar and salt in medium bowl; toss lightly to coat.
Spread cut sides of rolls with tzatziki. Top each (bottom half of roll) with a burger (cheese side up) and then the salad topping; replace roll tops. Serves 6.

Comments 

Although you would typically see turkey used in this Greek burger, I found that using ground turkey gives this burger a fresh clean flavor--particularly when combined with the lemon, herbs and other fresh ingredients.

Why this is a local great American burger: After graduating from college, I moved to Chicago and lived in the Greek Town area of the city. The fragrances of Greek ingredients, the olive oil, oregano or cinnamon would waft out of restaurant doors, tempting me to come in and eat! Living in Greek Town influenced my cooking at home as I developed a repertoire of Mediterranean inspired meals, including this Greek Town burger. This burger captures the essence of that ethnic neighborhood, with the fresh mint yogurt sauce, the lemon, dill, Feta, olive oil and Greek salad topping. Although you would not traditionally see this burger in Greek Town restaurants, this burger celebrates the flavors of that neighborhood making it a great local American burger.