Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Grass-Fed Greek Burgers with Watermelon Radish Tzaziki

It's art on the plate.  A radish.  Not just any radish.Fuschia radiating to light pink framed by chartreuse. It's a Watermelon Radish. It's discoveries like this in the heirloom produce world that cause me to continue to refine my own art (or craft, however you perceive cooking.) 

Usually a colorful surprise in my winter veggie boxes, we received 4 of them along with black radishes a couple of weeks ago.  Being a hearty root, they get a longer than usual stay in my veggie drawer.  The lack of cucumber for tzaziki brought it out of the drawer out last.  


Cut into matchsticks you have a pop of purplish pink.  But shaved on a grater and added to Greek yogurt, you have a pink-hued, flavorful tzaziki that was the perfect topping to cinnamon and oregano spiced, feta- and chard-filled, grass-fed burgers.

A self-proclaimed burger expert, my youngest son says that only burgers cooked in a seasoned cast-iron pan are real burgers.  Grilled burgers don't cut it for him, so with no propane in the grill, I did it his way and I have to say...I agree.  They were juicier and had an awesome flavor from charring on the hot iron surface.  You decide what works, but if you grill, be forewarned that the feta in the burgers can cause a lot of sticking to the grates if they are not well seasoned. 

To complete the burger meal, green beans were our french fries since they were in our veggie box but since this is potato season for most of the rest of the country, you can make quick oven fries by slicing potaoes into sticks then tossing with olive oil, oregano and salt.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until crispy.  (Set the fries on a metal cooling rack over a cookie sheet for the crispiest version.)

You can also serve the burgers on top of spinach or lettuce and make it a low-carb meal.  The juices from the burger actually meld with the tzaziki to make a fabulous dressing.

Let me know how you cooked yours and how they turned out.  If it's your first time to use grass-fed beef, tell me your opinion.  It will be a bit different from conventional corn-fed beef that's widely available.  I'll also be happy to answer any other questions you may have.  Comment below and I'll get back with you or email me.

CWYG STATS 
Seasonal Veggies -  green beans, watermelon radish, garlic, chard, onions, lettuce, Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, potatoes (in lieu of green beans)

CWYG Items - Grass-fed ground beef, olive oil, feta, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, egg

Grass-Fed Greek Burgers with Watermelon Radish Tzaziki

Try to find 100% grass-fed (and finished) beef or buffalo.  It's as lean as chicken and has the same Omega-3/6 ratio as wild salmon (in English...you can eat wild salmon at $10-15/lb or you can eat grass-fed hamburgers at $5-6 a pound and get the same effect on your brain and heart.) plus you get the iron from beef.  If you have pepperoncinis or olives, feel free to add these to burgers or as a topping.

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 head chard, leaves only, finely chopped
1 lb ground beef or buffalo
3 oz feta, crumbled
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
To Serve:Watermelon Radish Tzaziki, recipe follows
Romaine lettuce or spinach
Whole Wheat Buns or Pitas, optional
Quick Oven Fries or Green Beans steamed and tossed with olive oil, salt and cherry tomatoes, optional

Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Saute onion until softened, then add the garlic and chard.  Saute until the chard has totally softened and shrunk.  Squeeze out as much extra liquid as possible.  Transfer the chard to a large bowl and crumble in the ground beef, feta, egg, spices and salt.  Mix well, preferably with your hands.  Form into four patties and set on a plate into the fridge while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Prepare the tzaziki and shred lettuce if using.  Make your side dish now while you're at it and toast your bread, too.

Heat a large skillet or your grill.  Cook the burgers until they register 160 degrees internally.  Place the burgers on top of the buns or lettuce then top with tzaziki.

Watermelon Radish Tzaziki
Since watermelon radishes aren't readily available everywhere, use whatever radishes you can get in your area, or leave it out and make the yogurt topping with herbs and add extra lettuce to your burgers.

If you don't have Greek yogurt, but you do have plain, you can quickly make thickened yogurt that will work just the same.  Simply spread the yogurt into a thin layer on a couple of layers of paper towels on a cookie sheet.  Let stand for 5-10 minutes then scrape off with a spatula.  You will hopefully have very thick yogurt and the paper towel will be soaked with the whey from the yogurt.  Plan to start with twice as much yogurt as you will need.

1/2 cup grated radishes (any variety will work)
3/4 cup Greek-style yogurt (6 oz)
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp garlic, minced
juice of one lemon

Mix everything together and let stand for 15-20 minutes.

Print Page Copyright 2011 Christi Flaherty, Cook What You've Got

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Copyright 2012 TablaVie Personal Chef Service

All photos and recipes may not be used without express permission from Christi Flaherty, owner and creator of Cook What You've Got Concept and blog.
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