Finding a way to be satisfied with a burger that does not have a bun – challenge or opportunity? I say opportunity and this Moroccan Harissa Burger is a great example of this point. The making of this burger begins with the sautéing of vegetables mixed with a good dose of harissa. What is HARISSA? Harissa is a chili paste hailing from Northern Africa and very commonly used in Middle Eastern cooking.
I have used harissa before including RED PEPPER CHICKEN, a SPICY MORACCAN MEATBALLS and another MOROCCAN MEATBALL recipe. These recipes show the harissa added inside the ground turkey and developed as a sauce. Harissa is very versatile. For those of you not familiar with it, it does not have to be spicy. There are different levels of heat that you can buy or make. It has a sweet side to it as well. I also just bought and used gochujang – the Korean equivalent – in a recipe last night. What these sauces have in common, including sriracha sauce, sambal, are a combination of sweet and spicy.
The base of the flavor begins with the sautéing of carrots, celery & red onions (a mirepoix) and the harissa. The flavor is deepened by adding more cumin and coriander which is in the harissa. After the mixture softens, let it cool. The add it to the ground turkey and form the burger patties. I made my patties mine extra large – after all, there was no bun. I reinforced the harissa by making a harissa aioli to top the burger. I added flavor and texture with fresh cucumbers and some caramelized red onions. You will love it.
The cast of characters.
The making a cooking of the patty.
The Moroccan Harissa Burger Plated.
Moroccan Harissa Burger
- 2 Lbs Ground Turkey
- 2 Whole Carrots peeled and diced
- 2 Stalks Celery diced
- 3/4 Whole Red Onion diced
- 2 Tbsp Mild Harissa
- 2 Tsp Ground Cumin
- 2 Tsp Ground Coriander
- 2 Tsp Black Pepper
- 2 Tsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil divided
- 1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp Harissa
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add all the vegetables and soften for a couple of minutes. Add all the spices and harissa, mix well and cook for 2 - 3 more minutes. Take off flame and let cool.
Add the spiced, softened vegetables to the ground turkey. Mix well and form into 6 equal patties. Heat the remaining oil in a cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Add the burgers and cook on each side for 5 - 6 minutes.
Mix together the mayonnaise and harissa to make the aioli.
Serve the Harissa Burger and top with the harissa aioli, fresh cucumbers and caramlized red onions.