EVENT: Alex’s Belated Birthday Dinner
VENUE: Phoebe’s Apt, Flatiron
PARTY SIZE: 4
TYPE: Veg, Non-Veg
MENU: Chickpea and Mediterranean Lamb Burgers with Mint Raita and Tahini Slaw, Roasted Tomato Hummus
Though cabbage is only a small component of this meal, the inspiration for its full contents stemmed from the g-chat conversation Cara and I had earlier this week (shared in her last post). It bears mentioning that this discussion transpired during my three day battle with strep throat (I know, got to learn to keep my hands to myself in the playground), and the dream about neon-colored vegetables was probably a result of my fever-ridden state. It was also one of the few times sickness actually left me completely without appetite. And yet, my dreams were still riddled by visions of vegetables. Clearly, I need to get another hobby.
Once I emerged from my dark cave of disease and was actually able to consume those creations that my mind had been feverishly consumed by, I decided to try out the g-chat’s Chickpea Burgers with Tahini Slaw on famed BGSK vegetarian, Jordana. However, to please both Jor’s carnivore-minded boyfriend, Alex, whose birthday was the fine occasion for this dinner, and another friend of mine (also Alix, also non-veg), I decided to offer a Mediterranean-themed lamb burger using some of the same base flavor additions and ingredients.
The resulting meal turned out to be a great option for pleasing veg and non-veg guests without forcing the latter to try tofu for the first time or having to make an additional side dish for my herbaceous friends, though, had I gone this route, Cara’s gratin would have sufficed as an excellent option. Perhaps made better by the use of bright orange and purple potatoes and other figments of my imagination.
From my kitchen, where fever-induced dreams become reality, to yours,
Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Roasted Tomato Hummus
Makes 5 Appetizer Servings
I find that tomatoes can improve a variety of different dips. When added to guacamole, the juices create a fresh undertone that cuts the richness of the avocado. Though most of the liquids have been evaporated in the roasting process, the tomatoes in this case have a similar effect, thinning out the dense chickpea mixture, bringing another element of acidity to the lemon juice, and adding a subtle red tint, complemented by garnishing with a sprinkle of paprika.
1 15oz can chickpeas, drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, juiced
3 tbsp tahini
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp paprika
3/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp water
6 plum tomatoes, cut into three slices, seeds removed
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp parsley (optional)
dash of cayenne
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
On a rimmed cookie or baking sheet, arrange the tomatoes in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1 clove of the minced garlic, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and plenty of salt. Pop in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, until the tomatoes are beginning to caramelize but are not blackened. Remove and set aside to cool.
In a small food processor, combine the chickpeas, remaining garlic, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, paprika, and salt. Puree the mixture, adding the water as needed to thin it.
Remove any bits of blackened skin from the tomatoes. Add tomatoes to the food processor along with parsley (if using it) and puree until combined. Mix in a dash of cayenne if you want to give a little kick to the hummus. Taste for seasoning.
Garnish hummus with a couple dashes of paprika, a drizzle or two of olive oil, and a few leaves of parsley. Serve with toasted pita, torn baguette, or carrots.
Chickpea Burgers with Mint Raita and Tahini Slaw
Makes 3-4 servings
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup mint, minced
1 tbsp parsley (optional)
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs (I used half a burger bun to generate)
1 large egg, whisked
½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp paprika
In a small sauté pan, toast the walnuts over low heat until brown and fragrant. Keep an eye on these. Nuts are the easiest thing to burn. When finished, salt well and finely chop.
Meanwhile, in a small food processor, pulse your bread until it becomes crumbs. Set aside. Pulse the shallot and garlic in the processor until minced. Add the chickpeas, herbs, cumin, paprika, and salt and pulse to combine.
In a mixing bowl, fold together chickpea base, walnuts, ½ cup breadcrumbs, and egg. Form mixture into patties. Let chill covered in the refrigerator.
TIP: Patties can be made the night before and chilled overnight. I made two larger patties for Jordana and myself and two smaller slider sized patties for the boys to try.
In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon or two of oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) over a medium flame. Cook the patties on both sides until nicely browned on the tops, about 3-5 minutes per side, making sure not to burn them. Remove to a baking sheet and allow to cook 5 more minutes in the oven while the buns are toasting.
Serve with toasted whole wheat buns, one slice of tomato, and a large spoonful of raita over the top.
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup mint leaves, minced
2 tbsp lemon juice (a little less than ½ lemon)
½ clove garlic, minced
½ tsp salt (to taste)
Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl or combine in a food processor.
Serve with the burgers as a condiment.
TIP: can keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container for two weeks
Makes 4 servings
2 cups green cabbage, shredded (quarter and finely slice)
2 cups red cabbage, shredded (quarter and finely slice)
2 tbsp tahini
1/3 cup mayo
Juice of 3/4 lemon (use the leftover lemon from the raita)
½ tsp salt
In a medium salad bowl, whisk together (with a fork) the mayo, lemon juice, tahini, and salt.
Toss together with the cabbage and serve alongside the burgers.
Mediterranean Lamb Burgers
Makes 4 servings (3 if you are making your burgers Serious Man Burgers)
1½ lbs ground lamb
1/3 cup minced shallot
1 large clove of garlic
1 tbsp ginger, minced
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp paprika
1/3 cup mint, finely chopped
2 tbsp parsley (optional)
1 tsp salt
1-2 tbsp olive oil
4 whole wheat burger buns (really any type you like)
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
In a small saucepan over low to medium heat, sauté the shallot and ginger until translucent, about three minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, and paprika and sauté for two minutes longer, making sure not to brown. Remove and let cool in a medium mixing bowl.
With clean hands, mix together the fresh herbs, salt, and ground lamb with the cooled garlic-shallot mixture. Form into patties.
TIP: I made two large for the boys, and then two medium to slider sized so I could have one in addition to my chickpea burger. Patties can be made the night before and refrigerated until you are ready to serve.
In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon or two of oil (enough to line the bottom of the pan) over medium heat. Cook burgers on both sides until beautifully browned and cooked through to medium-well. This will take a while, about 5 minutes on the first side, 10 minutes on the second, making sure to turn the heat down if either side is burning.
TIP: if making the chickpea burgers as well, cook these first and then return to the oven as outlined in the recipe above.
Toast buns on a cookie sheet under the broiler until golden brown.
Serve with a spoonful of raita over the top, a slice of tomato, and a helping of tahini slaw on the side.