from one generation to the next
It’s staggering the difference 2000 kilometres can make to food culture and I’m not talking about Europe, Asia or the Americas, I’m talking about the east coast of Australia.
Burgers are a mainstay in Brisbane, check the Instagram #brisbanefood and you’ll see what I mean. Burger joints with quirky names dominate the street cafe scene. In Melbourne I could choose on a whim because Vietnamese, Thai and Burmese cafes sit cheek by jowl with Mexican, Greek, Ethiopian, Turkish, Indian and the ubiquitous Italian. In my former hometown you are spoiled for choice, but here the evidence of multiculturalism on local eating is sparse.
I’m not a great burger fan. I find it difficult to eat a mountainous mess of flabby bread, limp vegetables and dripping sauces without needing a bib and a ream of those useless single ply paper napkins burger joints supply. If I’m going to eat a burger I prefer to have it at home, on a plate with proper “eat’n’ irons.”
BBQ season has begun here so it’s good reason to experiment with some new flavours. Given my current address, it seemed appropriate to begin with burgers, but in defiance I selected turkey. I confess the idea of mixing poultry with feta and zucchini is not my own. It had entered my consciousness via a forgotten source, I just ran with it.
Char grilled home made spelt sourdough buns, delicious spicy tomato relish, smashed avocado, roasted red capsicums, cos lettuce leaves, thinly sliced cucumber, crispy prosciutto and melting swiss cheese sang a chorus of hallelujahs on my palate, led by the fat, juicy tasty turkey burger and yes, it was eaten in a ladylike manner with a knife and fork.
This recipe will be reshaped as meatballs next time the need arises, the flavours were wonderful.
Turkey, Zucchini and Fetta Burgers
1 large zucchini coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt
500g turkey mince
100g feta crumbled
2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onion greens
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
very generous grinding of black pepper
Put the grated zucchini into a colander, sprinkle over the salt and allow to drain for 20 minutes.
Rinse the zucchini and squeeze out as much water as possible.
Put all the ingredients together into a large bowl the use you hands to thoroughly knead the mix into a homogenous mass.
Divide into 8 patties approximately 90g each
Heat a large pan or solid BBQ plate on a medium setting. Oil lightly.
Put the burgers into the pan and gently flatten each until they are approx 1.5cm thick.
Cook for approx 4 mins until golden brown.
Flip then cook for another 2 minutes then remove from the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
While the burger is resting assemble the buns, sauces and salad, then top with the burger.
Makes 8 turkey burgers.