Tonight I needed a quick dinner, so I made burgers.
When you are Paleo/Primal, burgers can be a bit problematic as you can’t put them in a bun. Some people suggest using Portobello mushrooms in place of a bun, but J has a hatred of mushrooms – if I even suggest serving mushrooms she gets a really disgusted look on her face. So what I usually do is to sit the burgers on a really good salad. You can’t pick them up and eat them with your hands (well you can, but your fingers get messy and then you need a napkin), but they do taste good….
I had some wonderful grassfed burgers in the freezer (not made by me, I bought them as recommended by a Greek man who told me they would be the best I ever tasted and they are!), and I found this recipe for a Roasted Beet and Goats Cheese Salad. As I had beets that I wanted to use, it seemed perfect only I didn’t have any goats cheese. What I had instead is some absolutely incredible Macedonian feta.
If you have never had Macedonian feta you need to seek some out (I buy it from a Middle Eastern grocery store called Basha Foods). It is salty and tangy, yet creamy and not at all dry. The way A described it was that if normal feta and Philadelphia cream cheese had a love child, this would be the result…
Anyhow, I made the salad, cooked the burgers, placed them on top of the salad and decided that I needed something to top them with. In honour that Greek guy I decided that Tzatziki might be good. So I went to my cookbook shelf and found a Greek cookbook that I have – 300 Traditional Recipes Greek Cookery. And so I made the Tzatziki using some greek yoghurt . That cook book is very good – I bought it in a second hand bookshop that I frequent a few months ago… while it is not Paleo/Primal, a lot of the recipes can be adapted – and in this case it provided just what I needed.
So what I did – I made the Roasted Beet salad exactly as in the recipe I linked to earlier, just substituting the feta for the goats cheese.
I cooked the burgers as instructed on the box (cook from frozen and grill for 5 minutes per side).
Then I made the tzatziki…
(based on the recipe for Tzatziki (Yoghurt, Cucumber and Garlic Dip) on page 26 of 300 Traditional Recipes, Greek Cookery edited by Stelios Condaratos)
This is a really nice sauce or dip containing Greek yoghurt, cucumber, garlic and herbs. My kids love it piled on top of burgers (or pretty much any kind of meat), but it also makes a really good dip for veggies. I know that this is not a paleo recipe, but it is primal…
2 cups Greek yoghurt (you cold also use strained homemade yoghurt)
1 medium cucumber – peeled and seeded
4 cloves of garlic – crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a little apple cider vinegar
fresh mint – chopped
fresh dill – chopped
Grate the cucumber and press out as much liquid as you possibly can (I used my nut-milk bag to do this, but a clean teacloth would work just as well.) You want to get as much out as you can because any juice you leave behind will dilute the sauce and make it runny. I saved my cucumber juice and made a drink out of it by adding some fizzy water… you don’t have to do that. Just toss it down the sink if you want.
Place the squeezed and grated cucumber in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and chill until it is time to serve.
And finally I plated it all – I sat the burgers on top of the salad and spooned a big dollop of Tzatziki on top.
I appreciate that this meal contained a fair amount of dairy… but hey, my girls are Primal, not Paleo and both I and me tolerate this kind fairly well. Besides, 80/20…..