Open Kibbeh

kibbeh - trust in kim

Here  is another Yotam Ottolenghi recipe from his Jerusalem cookbook.  It is not a traditional kibbeh recipe; this one is layered with a bulgur crust on the bottom, meat and onion, then the tahini on top.  It takes a bit of time to get this together, but there’s nothing really difficult about it.  I might make a little more of the tahini sauce next time, because I didn’t have enough to get to the edges of my kibbeh, and the meat got a little crunchy because of that.  Yet still yummy!

Serve this with fattoush or tabbouleh salad or even just a nice green salad.

What you need:

  • scant 1 cup/125 grams fine bulgur wheat
  • 200 mL water
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil/ 90 mL
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 green chile, finely chopped
  • 12 oz / 350 grams ground lamb (substitute beef if you wish)
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup/ 60 grams pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons self-rising flour (I just added a pinch each of salt and baking powder to regular flour)
  • 3 & 1/2 tablespoons light tahini paste
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • salt and pepper

What you do:

  1. Line the sides an 8-inch/ 20 cm springform pan with wax or parchment paper.
  2. Place the bulgur in a large bowl and cover it with water.  Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the garlic, onion and chile until they are soft. Remove the onion mixture from the pan.
  4. Cook the lamb in the large frying pan for about 5 minutes, stirring, until browned.  Add the onion mixture and add the spices, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt, some freshly ground pepper, most of the pine nuts and parsley, leaving some aside for the top. Cook this for a few minutes, then return from the heat and adjust seasonings.
  5.  Preheat the oven to 400F.
  6. Check to see if all the water has been absorbed into the bulgur; drain any remaining water.  Add the flour, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of black pepper.  Work this mixture with your hands until it holds together.  Add a little more flour if it is too sticky.  Press firmly into the bottom of the springform pan so that it is compact and level.
  7. Add the lamb mixture and press it down a little.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the meat is very dark brown.
  9. While the kibbeh is in the oven whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, 3 & 1/2 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt.
  10. Remove the kibbeh from the oven and spread the tahini over the top (closer to the edges than in my picture!), sprinkle with the nuts and parsley and return to the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the tahini sauce has a little colour and the pine nuts are golden.
  11. Remove the kibbeh from the oven and let it cool until it is warm or room temperature.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sumac.  Remove the springform pan sides and parchment paper and cut into wedges to serve.

Turkey & Zucchini Burgers


The other day the sun was shining, so we wanted to make something to go on the barbecue.  We ended up frying these turkey burgers on the stove-top because we wondered if they would hold together on the grill.  In retrospect, after we let them sit while waiting to cook them, they ended up holding together quite well.  I would recommend oiling the grill really well if you’re going to barbecue them. The original recipe, in Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenhi, says you can get 18 burgers out of this recipe.  When he says burgers, he means tiny little meatballs 9which would probably make a great appetizer).  If you are making a real burger, the kind with the regular-sized bun, you can make more like 4-6 patties.

Now, about the taste – so good! So juicy! And healthier than a lot of other barbecue options. The sumac and sour cream sauce is excellent.  The original recipe doesn’t have green onions in it, but I had a happy accident when I added the green onions meant for the burgers to my sauce instead.  So feel free to make the sauce with or without green onions.   I also used only yogurt in my sauce; use 1/2 cup sour cream and 2/3 cup yogurt if you want to follow Ottolenghi’s recipe.

What you need for the burger:

500 grams ground turkey

about 2 cups coarsely grated zucchini

3 thinly sliced green onions

1 large egg

2 tablespoons chopped mint

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

sunflower or vegetable oil for frying (unless you grill)

hamburger buns of your choice; I used focaccia buns

What you need for the sour cream and sumac sauce:

1 cup Greek yogurt (just strained some of my homemade yogurt)

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1 small clove garlic, crushed

1 & 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon sumac

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

2 green onions, chopped (optional)

What you do for the sauce:

1. Mix all the ingredients together and set aside until needed, refrigerating if it’s going to be a while before you use it.

What you do for the burgers:

1. Combine all the ingredients for the meat patties, except for the oil for frying.  Mix with your hands and form into patties.

2. If you are pan-frying, preheat the oven to 425F. Pour a little oil into the pan, heat over medium until hot, then add the patties. Sear each side until it is nice and brown, then put the pan into the oven (or on another surface if your pan can’t go into the oven) and let them bake for 5-7 minutes.  In the meantime you can be toasting your buns, if you wish.

3. Serve with some of the sauce on top, and a salad on the side. Some options are found here and here.

Check out this posting if you want to see how to re-grow your green onions.