Zucchini is the secret to these extra-moist, Mediterranean-inspired burgers. Serve with lemon wedges alongside.
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 cup packed grated zucchini, squeezed very dry
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, divided
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp ground cumin, divided
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided
1/4 tsp sea salt, plus additional to taste
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp tahini paste
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup diced English cucumber
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
High-heat cooking oil (such as sunflower, safflower or grape seed oil), as needed
Olive oil cooking spray
2 6-inch whole-grain pitas, halved
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese, optional
In a large bowl, combine turkey, zucchini, 2 tbsp cilantro, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 cloves garlic, green onions, 1 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp salt. Form into 8 1/2-inch-thick patties, then transfer to a large, parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Prepare tahini sauce: In a small bowl, combine yogurt, tahini, 1 tbsp lemon juice, remaining 1/2 tsp cumin and 1 clove garlic until smooth, adding up to 3 tbsp water to reach desired consistency. Cover and refrigerate.
Prepare salsa: In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, mint, remaining 2 tbsp cilantro, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1/4 tsp pepper. Season with additional salt. Cover and refrigerate.
Heat an outdoor grill to medium-high and lightly oil grate with cooking oil. (NOTE: A nonstick grill pan will work here too.) Mist patties with cooking spray and grill for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until golden brown, no pink remains inside and an instant-read thermometer registers 165˚F when inserted in center.
Divide tahini sauce between pita halves. Place 2 patties into each pocket and divide salsa among burgers. Top with feta (if using).
Serving Size: 1/2 pita with 2 patties and toppings
Grated zucchini adds extra juiciness and a slight sweetness to these crowd-pleasing sliders. While the brilliant pink hue of our beet tzatziki might seem surprising, the method of swapping out cucumber for beets is quite traditional in certain regions of the Mediterranean. If the pink is too much, though, opt for golden beets.
Meatball fans rejoice! Traditional to North African and Mediterranean cuisine, kefta are essentially large, cylindrical meatballs grilled on skewers and served with yogurt sauce. We've paired ours with fragrant veggie rice and dairy-free sunflower sauce.