Burgers make for a great quick meal, and everyone in our house loves them. I'm always trying to find new ideas to make dinner time fun and interesting, and if I can add a serving of vegetables into the mix, even better. I love all kinds of Greek food, so when I was looking through magazines and blogs to put together my weekly menu, this Greek inspired burger caught my eye.
It comes courtesy of "Cuisine at Home", and makes for a great filling meal. Seriously, the burgers ended up being so big, we could only eat half a burger each and were completely satisfied. The burgers are made with ground chuck (I ended up using 93% fat free ground beef), but next time I will look for ground lamb instead to give it an even more authentic flavor. The burgers get a Mediterranean flair by adding garlic, oregano and marjoram to the onions, which are then sauteed before incorporating the mixture into the ground meat. The burgers are formed into a long and narrow shape (think mini meat loaf) to fit them onto a hoagie roll, but you could also serve them on a round bun. The meat is grilled on the BBQ, and right before removing, the cooked burgers are then topped with a wonderful feta sauce which is whisked together quickly in a food processor.
The sauce is a mix of feta cheese, cream cheese, yogurt, peperoncini peppers, scallions and lemon zest. The flavors compliment each other nicely and the sauce has a pleasant tartness to it. To complete each burger, red leaf lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and sliced cucumbers are added to each bun before topping them with the grilled burger. No further condiments were needed.
The result, a great, very different tasting burger that was the perfect and quick ending to a long hot day. I simply served it with fresh watermelon and everyone left the table satisfied and happy. Definitely a recipe that I will be making again, especially since I will be making it with ground lamb the next time. If you are a burger aficionado, this recipe is definitely a must to try out!
Feta Cheese Burgers
(adapted from "Cuisine at Home")
For the Feta Sauce:
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup peperoncini peppers, sliced
3 tablespoons scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Burgers:
2 pounds ground chuck or lamb (I used 93% ground beef)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
Salt and Pepper to taste
Prepared Feta Sauce
6 hoagie rolls
Red leaf lettuce
Thinly sliced English Cucumber
Preheat grill to medium-high.
Process feta cheese, cream cheese, and yogurt until smooth. Add the peperoncini, scallions, zest, and seasonings. Pulse to coarsely chop, then set aside.
In a medium skilled heat olive oil. Add red onion and saute until soft. Add the garlic along with the spices and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes before adding to the ground meat.
After adding the onion mixture to the ground beef (or lamb) shape meat into 6 equal portions the size of your hoagie roll. Season with more salt and pepper. Grill burgers on an oiled grate for 4 minutes; flip and cook 2 minutes more (or cook the meat to desired doneness).
Top each burger with a scoop of the Feta Sauce; grill another minute or until the sauce starts to melt.
Serve burgers on rolls with lettuce, tomato, and cucumber.