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Middle Eastern Turkey Burger Menu

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Spice up your next cookout with the warm, exotic flavors of the Middle East.

Forget the buns and pick up some pita bread to serve with your middle eastern burgers.

Wrap one of these flavorful turkey burgers in a warm pita and garnish it with the cool, creamy yogurt sauce and you’ll wonder how you made it this long on plain old burgers, buns, and condiments. A fresh tabbouleh salad piled high alongside stacked roasted tomatoes complements the burgers nicely and lends a little sophistication to each plate. And sweet apricots tossed in an herb-infused syrup ends the meal on a light, fresh note.

Menu Timeline

Up to a day ahead:

  • Roast and refrigerate the tomatoes.
  • Heat the Moscato, add the dried apricots, cover, and allow to marinate overnight (or at least 8 hours).

Up to 4 hours ahead:

  • Make the turkey patties, refrigerate until ready to grill.
  • Strain the Moscato (setting aside the dried apricots) and continue to make the flavored syrup, refrigerate syrup until ready to serve.

Up to 2 hours ahead:

  • Make and refrigerate the cucumber & yogurt sauce.

An hour before dinner:

  • Take the roasted tomatoes out of the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature.
  • Cook the bulgur wheat by combining it with olive oil and boiling stock in a medium bowl, cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
  • Prep the rest of the salad ingredients while the bulgur sits.

30 minutes before dinner:

  • Uncover and fluff the bulgur and combine with the remaining salad ingredients.

Just before dinner:

  • Grill the turkey burgers.
  • Plate and garnish the tabbouleh salad.

Just before dessert:

  • Slice the plumped dried apricots and the fresh apricots or pluots.
  • In a large bowl, toss the fruit with the flavored syrup and serve.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce:

  • 3 lb. ripe medium tomatoes
  • 2 lb. fresh apricots or pluots (about 16 apricots or 7 medium pluots)
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 small bunch scallions
  • 1 small head garlic
  • 1 large bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro

Meat & Dairy:

  • 1-1/2 lb. ground turkey, preferably including some dark meat (93% lean)
  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk or lowfat yogurt, preferably Greek

Other Groceries:

  • 5 oz. dried apricots (15 to 20)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup fine bulgur wheat
  • 1/3 cup vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 2 to 3 cups Moscato or Moscato d’Asti (or any dessert wine made from Muscat grapes)
  • Pita bread

Pantry Staples:

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 6 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Black peppercorns

The Menu

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