Aired August 27, 2007
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken or ground lamb
1 cup full-fat plain yogurt
3/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves (a couple of handfuls), chopped and divided
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin (a palmful)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (half a palmful)
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika (half a palmful)
1 tablespoon grill seasoning (a palmful)
1 pinch ground cinnamon
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling plus about 3 tablespoons for dressing
1 seedless European cucumber, diced into bite-size pieces
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and diced into bite-sized pieces
4 ribs celery with leafy greens intact, chopped
1/2 large red onion, chopped
2 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 pound feta, crumbled
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
6 pepperoncini (light green peppers), chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
Preheat oven 375F.
Arrange the torn-up pieces of pita bread on a cookie sheet. Transfer to the oven and toast until crispy about 5 minutes.
While the pitas are toasting up, start the burgers: Combine ground chicken with yogurt, 1/4 of the parsley, 2 chopped garlic cloves, cumin, oregano, paprika, grill seasoning and cinnamon. Score the meat in 4 equal portions then form 4 patties about 1-inch thick. Preheat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of EVOO to the skillet to coat the bottom in a thin layer. Once it ripples, add the patties and cook 6-7 minutes on each side.
While the burgers cook, combine cucumber, bell pepper, celery, red onion, remaining chopped garlic clove, tomatoes, feta, olives, hot peppers and the remaining chopped parsley in a bowl for the salad. Squeeze the lemons and drizzle about 2 tablespoons of EVOO over them, season with some salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Add the toasted torn pita breads and toss again. Let sit while the burgers finish cooking. Taste to adjust seasonings. Top salad with patties and serve.