This recipe from new Middle-Eastern recipe book Falafel For Breakfast makes for a satisfying weeknight feast. Including your guests in the preparation of a meal is a great way to entertain, and these burgers are ideal for a lunch party where you get the ingredients ready beforehand, and lay them on the table for all to make their own.
750 grams good-quality coarse minced lamb
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
1 handful coriander leaves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons red harissa
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
4 tablespoons aïoli, to serve
4 brioche burger buns, toasted
700 grams capsicums, roasted, peeled and seeded
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 large green chillies
2 handfuls coriander, leaves and stems washed and coarsely chopped
3 teaspoons mild paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons caster sugar
2 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
200 ml extra virgin olive oil
Middle Eastern coleslaw
½ red cabbage
sea salt flakes
1 handful mint, leaves picked
2 large handfuls Italian parsley, chopped finely
1 handful coriander, chopped coarsley
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons verjuice (husroum)
Put the minced lamb, coriander seeds, chopped coriander, olive oil, 4 tablespoons of the harissa and the chilli flakes in a large bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix to combine. Divide the meat mixture into four equal portions and gently shape into burger patties with your hands. (Don’t overwork the patties as the meat will become tough.)
Cook the burgers in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat for 2–3 minutes each side (for medium–rare), or to your taste. You can also cook them using the grill or barbecue heated to medium. Combine the aïoli and remaining harissa in a small bowl. To assemble the burgers, toast the cut side of the buns.
Place the bun bottoms on plates and add a dollop of the harissa aïoli, a handful of coleslaw and a pattie. Add another handful of coleslaw, another dollop of aïoli and top with the bun lid.
Put the roasted capsicums, garlic, chillies and chopped coriander in a food processor and blend to a paste. Add the paprika, cumin, ground coriander and sugar and blend for a further minute. Add the vinegar and salt to taste, then drizzle in the olive oil slowly with the motor running until combined. Makes about 1kg.
Middle Eastern coleslaw
Use a mandolin or knife to shave the cabbage finely and julienne the carrots. Place in a large bowl, sprinkle with sea salt flakes and press down on the cabbage and carrot with your hands to soften them. Add the mint, parsley and coriander to the bowl and mix well. Add the olive oil and husroum, and season with freshly ground black pepper. Toss to combine and serve. Serves 4-6 as a side dish.