Bring on the Burgers, Greek Style

Add a new twist to an old favorite.

By Mary Gunderson

Greek Burgers With Cucumber-Mint-Dill Sauce

Greek Burgers With Cucumber-Mint-Dill Sauce. Photo by Mary Gunderson

Greek Burgers With Cucumber-Mint-Dill Sauce

4 to 5, 6½-inch whole-wheat pitas
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 egg
½ cup green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
1¼ pounds ground lamb, beef, pork or turkey (or in combination)
3 cups spring greens
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
Cucumber-Mint-Dill Sauce (see below)
½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Cut away a third of one pita and reserve. Chop remaining two-thirds of one pita and toss with lemon juice. Stir in beaten egg. Let soak about 5 minutes. In blender or food processor, blend bread and egg mixture with onion, garlic, mint, and oregano. Remove to large bowl and mix with meat. Salt and pepper to taste. Form into 10 small patties or 5 large patties.

Cut remaining pita rounds into three wedges. Wrap in foil and warm in oven about 8 minutes, or wrap in paper toweling and microwave about 30 seconds or until warm. Grill, broil or fry burgers to 160°F internal temperature,
3 to 5 minutes per side.

To serve, open each pita and line with greens. Add burger and top with a few more greens, a slice of red onion and tomato slices. Drizzle with Cucumber-Mint-Dill Sauce. Sprinkle with feta. Serve immediately with additional sauce for dipping. Yield: about 5 servings.

Cucumber-Mint-Dill Sauce

½ English cucumber, washed, unpeeled, and coarsely chopped, or 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
4 teaspoons lemon juice, or to taste
1 clove garlic, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried dillweed, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
1½ cups Greek-style or full-fat yogurt*
Salt and cracked pepper to taste

In food processor, blend cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs. Stir into yogurt. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. Refrigerate about 2 hours. If necessary, remove excess water and stir before serving. Yield: about 2 cups.

* Greek-style yogurt is thicker in texture and richer in flavor than full-fat yogurt. If using full-fat yogurt, pour off excess water before using.

More About Mary

Mary Gunderson writes about food, culture and wellness in Minneapolis. She’s the author of The Food Journal of Lewis & Clark: Recipes for an Expedition (History Cooks® 2003) and other books about cooking and eating in American history.

The Food Journal of Lewis and Clark: Recipes for an Expedition
Order Gunderson’s book direct from her website. Discounts available! READ MORE>>

Recipe Blog
Check out a selection of recipes from the Lewis and Clark book, along with more of Gunderson’s favorites. READ MORE>>