RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Kefta Burger with Zchug and Feta

Inspired by the Middle Eastern speciality Kefta - tender meatballs, loaded with savory onion, italian parsely and smokey cumin. Topped with another Middle Eastern delight - Zchug, a spicy garlic, chili pepper, tomato, cilantro and parsely dip. Great on burgers or with pita chips!

Ingredients 

Zchug
3 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1 jalapeno chili, seeded, stemed, and quartered
4 large, ripe Roma tomatoes, seeded, and quartered
1/4 cup packed italian parsley
1/4 cup packed cilantro
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon tandoori blend spice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus one additional large lemon for burgers
1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for grill and burgers
Gray sea salt to taste
Kefta Burgers
1 medium sweet yellow onion, peeled, quartered and quartered again
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup packed italian parsely
1 lb ground chuck
1/2 lb ground lamb
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 egg
1/4 cup crushed Sourdough Nibblers
1 teaspoon gray sea salt
6 large pita pockets
1 large lemon
1 1/2 cups fresh feta, crumbled

Instructions 

Prepare Zchug. In a 11 cup food processor, add garlic, jalapeno, tomato, parsley, cilantro, cumin, tandoori, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pulse till consistency of a chunky salsa. Tast for salt and seasoning. Transfer to a covered glass dish and chill till ready to serve. Prepare burgers. In a separate clean food processor bowl, proccess pretzels until the consistency of fine bread crumbs. Transfer to clean dish and set aside. Add garlic, onion, and parsley to food processor. Pulse till finely chopped. Scrape down sides. Add chuck, lamb, cumin, salt, egg and reserved pretzels. Pulse just till combined. Gently shape meat mixture into six, slighty oval shaped burgers to fit pitas, and place on baking sheet. Using two fingers, make a small indention in the center of each burger to prevent swelling when cooking. Chill burgers while you go mingle with your guests and drink wine. 30 minutes before your're ready to eat . . . Remove burgers, Zchug, and feta from refrigerator. Preheat gas grill (preferrably with cast iron grates!) on high 15 minutes. Liberally brush grill with oil. Drizzle burgers with extra virgin olive oil and a small grate or two of gray sea salt. Reduce grill heat down one notch from Start/High -- you want a hot grill! Place burgers on grill. Close cover and cook 3 minutes. Flip burgers and cook another 2-3 minutes, testing after 2 mintes. Warm pitas on grill the last 2 minutes of cooking, flipping once. Remove burgers and pitas from grill. Squeeze a little lemon juice over each burger. Cut top section off each pita pocket, insert burger, top with feta and zchug. And there you have it - you've just built yourself a better burger.