A couple of months ago I purchased Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest cookbook, It’s All Good and have been keen to try out some of the recipes. When I finally decided to foray into Paltrow’s culinary realm last week I was, for some unexplicable reason, drawn toward a small nondescript recipe for Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers that had no accompanying photo. Intrigued, I gave it a shot and was surprisingly delighted with the results! Not only are these burgers super easy to make, but they are also incredibly healthy, and so full of flavour that I think I might still be able to taste them (not actually…that’s gross)!
Since I had so many leftover herbs from the first round, I made these twice. The first time I prepared them alongside the recommended NY Street Vendor Salad, but the second, lacking romaine lettuce, I got a little crafty and prepared my own salad using the same dressing. Not to toot my own horn, but I might actually prefer mine. I’ll post both though and leave the judgement up to the real experts, you guys. ;)
Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers
Makes 4 large burgers, or 6 regular size.
2-4 shallots, roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 small cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
8 large basil leaves
3 handfuls baby spinach
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
“Blitz the shallots, garlic, oregano, basil, spinach, lemon zest, salt, and pepper together in a food processor until finely chopped. Place the mixture in a large bowl along with the turkey and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined. Form the mixture into even sized patties and refrigerate for a few hours if you have extra time (to let the flavours settle in). Heat a grill pan to medium heat, brush the burgers with olive oil, and cook until firm to the touch and nicely browned” (Paltrow and Turshen 108).
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and finely diced
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
Leaves from 2 sprigs of mint, finely sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until blended.
I served mine with the yogurt sauce and the salad, and found the meal to be quite satisfying, but you could also serve them on a bun if you’re a bread junky! Also, these patties are eerily green before they’re cooked (and still quite green afterward, to be honest). Don’t be alarmed. This is simply because they are jam-packed with healthy leafy greens and herbs which contribute to their awesome flavour!
NY Street Vendor Salad
1 large head of romaine lettuce, chopped
A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
1/3 red onion, very thinly sliced
Toss the lettuce with the dressing, distribute evenly onto plates, and top with the remaining ingredients.
2 tablespoons tahini
1/4 cup boiling water
1/2 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients until evenly distributed.
Nikki’s Salad Variation
1 1/4 cups diced cucumber
1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
1/3 red onion, chopped
Mix it all together and enjoy! Yup, it’s pretty darn simple, but aren’t the best things in life that way?
Just to be clear once again, the recipe for both the Burgers and the Street Vendor Salad came directly from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook. I plan to review the book in the near future, once I’ve had the opportunity to try out a few more recipes, however, my initial impressions are all good: I love that it’s all easy-to-make, healthy, gluten-free, and the art direction is stunning! Though I am sharing these recipes with you, the book is full of wonderful ideas, and I would definitely recommend picking up a copy for yourself!
Paltrow, Gwyneth, and Julia Turshen. It’s All Good. New York, NY: Grand Central Life & Style, 2013. 108, 62. Print.