Middle Eatern Spiced Turkey-Zucchini Sliders

It’s finally (FINALLY!) college football season.  Can I get an AMEN?

I love, love, love college football season…always have, always will.  Every August-November, my Saturday soundtrack is College Gameday, lots of football, and cheering and laughing with friends.  I just can’t get enough.

This past Saturday, I had my first get football, food, and fun get together with a small group of friends.  It’s still much too warm for the ultimate football food, chili, but I took that as a great reason to try out a new recipe.  As I was perusing Josie’s blog, I found these mini burgers and knew they would be perfect.  They use zucchini, one of late summer’s greatest vegetables, they’re easy to make, they’re healthy, and they’re perfectly sized to be finger food.  After all, who wants to leave the living room to eat when the game’s on?

Just as Josie and her adorable, intelligent, sweet daughter Caroline promised, these were a hit with everyone.  Served with roasted mixed potatoes, plenty of veggies and hummus, and, of course, beverages, they were the ultimate warm-weather football watching food.  I’m thinking they’ll be making a reappearance very soon…

turkey zucchini sliders

Sweet summer zucchini gives ground turkey a much needed moisture boost in these healthy, handheld sliders.  Topped with a tangy, creamy Middle Eastern yogurt sauce and placed atop a sweet Hawaiian roll, they’re perfect for warm weather get togethers.

Middle Eastern Spiced Turkey-Zucchini Sliders
adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi, Jerusalem
seen on Pink Parsley


For the sauce:
1/2 c. low fat sour cream
2/3 c. plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 TBSP Sumac

For the burgers:
1 large zucchini, coarsely shredded (about 2 c.)
1 to 1 1/4 lb. ground turkey
3 green onions, chopped
2 TBSP chopped fresh mint
2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper
4 TBSP canola oil
16-18 Hawaiian sweet rolls or slider buns

1.  Make the sauce by whisking all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Set aside if making burgers immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  (Can be made the night before.)

2.  Preheat oven to 425° F.  If desired, prepare a rimmed baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.

3.  Wrap the zucchini in a lint-free kitchen towel and wring out over the sink to remove as much moisture as possible.

4.  To form the burger patties, combine all ingredients except the oil in a large bowl.  Mix together with your hands until thoroughly combined but not overworked.  Form into 16-18 small patties, each weighing approximately 1.5 oz.  (I used a standard-sized kitchen scoop to scoop loose balls of burger mixture and got exactly 16 patties.) 

5.  Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add 2 TBSP of the oil.  Carefully add about half the patties to the pan and cook two minutes on each side.  When done, remove and place on the baking sheet.  Add the remaining oil and repeat with the other half of the patties.

6.  When all the patties are on the baking sheet, place in the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes.

Yield: 16-18 sliders

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