Talking turkey

While visiting my cousin and her new babba recently I picked up her copy of Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi. I had heard a couple of my friends talking about this chap: who forgets a name that is so nice to roll around your mouth especially when associated with memories of delicious nibbles with friends? So I was intrigued and flicked through a few pages. The recipe below caught my eye (Turkey & Courgette Burgers with Spring Onion & Cumin p.200) and I found it online after a little googling. I have yet to find sumac so first time I made this I just left it out and it was still divine. The second time I made them they had no turkey mince left in Superquinn so I went for lamb instead which I added to the turkey from my freezer. Still they had no sumac in Superquinn (which I wouldn’t hold against them having only become aware of its existence myself in the very recent past) but I picked up a jar of Epicure Lebanese Paste which was nommy. All the family loved these wee burgers which we served with couscous with pine nuts and sultanas or chopped apricots. (I’ll add a picture next time we have them which will be soon no doubt.


1 lb/500g turkey mince
1 large courgette, coarsely grated about 8oz/200g
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 large free-range egg
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
about 6 tablespoons sunflower oil, for searing

Sour cream & sumac sauce
Approx 80ml sour cream
Approx 160ml Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, crushed
11/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sumac
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Make the sour cream sauce first by placing all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well and set aside or chill until needed.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the burgers except the sunflower oil.
  3. Mix with your hands and then shape into about 18 rounded burgers of about 1½ ounces each.
  4. Pour enough sunflower oil into a large frying pan to form a layer about 1/16-inch thick.
  5. Heat over medium heat until hot, then sear the burgers, in batches, on all sides. Cook each batch for about 4 minutes, adding oil as needed, until golden brown.
  6. Carefully transfer the seared burgers to a baking sheet lined with waxed paper and place in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until just cooked through.
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature, with the sauce spooned over or on the side. We served them in pitta pockets with optional tomatoes and lettuce/ rocket.