We’ve loved discovering London; learning the under and over ground transportation systems, strolling along the Thames, discovering beautiful parks for picnics and fun playgrounds for the children, exploring fascinating museums, shopping (or at least browsing) in the high end department stores, getting lost in all the wonderful history, and of course, for these two avid foodies, uncovering wonderful markets, cafés and restaurants.
One of our favorite places to go for great food is a tiny little shop in the Kensington area of London. From our daughter’s home, it’s 15 minutes on the tube (the London underground) and then a delightful 10 minute walk, past ancient stone churches, markets overflowing with jewel-hued flowers, and shop after charming shop. A turn onto a narrow cobblestone street finds us at our delicious destination; Ottolenghi. We discovered the shop owned by Yotam Ottolenghi and his partner Sami Tamimi on one of our very first visits to London. I’d never heard of either of them at that time, but they’ve since become household words here at The Café and in culinary circles all over the world, as they’ve released one fabulous cookbook after another.
Their specialty is Middle Eastern, both of them hailing from Jerusalem, yet, with totally different ethnic backgrounds, they each bring an amazing array and diversity of flavors, ingredients and personal style to the table. The emphasis is on fresh, seasonal vegetables and they have a way of magically combining them with other unique ingredients yielding beyond delicious results.
I love the fact that, nowadays, I don’t have to go to London to enjoy delicious Ottolenghi creations. I’ve collected all of their cookbooks over the past few years and have bookmarked a zillion wonderful recipes to try.
This time I couldn’t resist the Turkey & Zucchini Burgers w/ Green Onion & Cumin from their latest cookbook, aptly titled Jerusalem. I did adapt the recipe a bit, but I do believe that even Yotam himself would approve of my cha as I added fresh corn, diced red pepper and substituted ground chicken for the turkey. I called my burgers Chicken, Zucchini and Fresh Corn Burgers and served the burgers wrapped in my Homemade Flour Tortillas, spread with a bit of hummus, piled high with Tomato-Cucumber Relish and then drizzled with a simple Greek Yogurt Sauce. It’s super delicious and, if you close your eyes while you eat it, you very well might just picture yourself sitting in a lovely park, right in the heart of London, enjoying takeout from Ottolenghi.
- Ingredients for the Greek yogurt sauce:
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Ingredients for the burgers:
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1 medium zucchini coarsely chopped
- 1 ear fresh corn husks and silk removed and kernels cut from cob
- ½ medium red bell pepper finely diced
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper about 3-4 tbsp olive oil for searing
- Ingredients for the Tomato-Cucumber Relish:
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes quartered
- ⅓ medium seedless English cucumber finely diced
- 2 green onions finely sliced
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 clove garlic minced
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- First, make Greek yogurt sauce by mixing all ingredients in small bowl and placing in the fridge.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl combine all burger ingredients except oil. Mix with your hands and form into desired patty sizes.
- Pour enough oil to cover bottom of large frying pan. Heat over medium heat until hot, then sear burgers about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown.
- Carefully transfer the seared burgers to a baking sheet and place in oven 7-10 minutes, or until cooked through.
- While burgers are baking, prepare tomato-cucumber relish by combining all ingredients in a medium size bow. Stir gently to combine.
- I like to serve these burgers with Homemade Flour Tortillas spread with a bit of hummus. They're also delightful served with pita bread, basmati rice, mashed potatoes, pasta, etc.