Greek food is a particular favourite of mine and luckily so is a good burger! These juicy patties were spiked with finely chopped kalamata olives and a hint of cinnamon that took them to a seriously high level on the Em’s Food flavour scale. Paired with salty, molten haloumi and a fresh, herb packed yoghurt, they were the absolute gear. Perfect for a crowd, gentle on the purse strings and to top it off, deliciously healthy.
Prep time: 40 Minutes Cooking time: 20 Minutes $$ Medium budget
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1kg of lamb mince
225gm of Haloumi, thinly sliced (16 slices)
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
16 pitted kalamata olives, very finely chopped
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tbs of tomato paste
2 tsp of dried oregano
4 sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves removed and finely chopped, stalks discarded
Sea salt and cracked pepper
1-2 large eggplant, sliced top to bottom approximately 1/2 cm thick (ends removed)
4 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 bag of baby rocket
8 Turkish rolls, halved lengthways (I used long ones but round are fine)
For the Herb Yoghurt:
1 cup of Greek Yoghurt
2 tbs of finely chopped dill
1 tbs of finely chopped mint
A squeeze of lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
Sea salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°.
Line a large baking tray with baking paper (you may need two) and place the eggplant slices on it in a single layer. Brush each slice with a little olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden, remove and set aside for later. This can be done ahead as the eggplant can be at room temperature for these burgers.
Place the mince, garlic, olives, dried and fresh oregano, tomato paste, cinnamon and egg in a large mixing bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper and use your hands to combine. Using wet hands, shape the mince into 8 burger patties. I did them in an oblong shape rather than round as I was using the long rolls.
Place the Greek yoghurt, herbs, garlic and lemon juice in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Set aside.
Heat a Barbecue plate or frypan, add a touch of oil and fry the burger patties. Use a spatula to flatten them as much as possible and cook for approximately 4-5 minutes each side or until cooked through. Set aside to rest and then fry the haloumi until golden on both sides, using the spatula to lift the haloumi on top of the patties.
Toast or grill the burger buns until lightly charred and smokey.
To assemble the burger, place the rocket, eggplant, tomatoes and red onion on the bottom half of the bun. Top with a burger patty and haloumi and then use a spoon to spread a generous dollop of the yoghurt across the top half of the bun. You may need to cut these babies in half and a roll of kitchen paper will come in very handy!
If you have leftover Dill, Mint or Oregano you may be interested in these recipes: