Happy Thursday! I am celebrating Greek style today as part of a one-year anniversary blog tour for Debbie Matenopoulos’ cookbook It’s All Greek to Me. I’m thrilled to be a part of this #OneYrGreek food blog tour and to share the amazing recipe I reviewed for it.
If you are looking for Greek recipes, cooking tips, advice, inspiration, and a visual foray into the wonderful country of Greece, including its food & people, then you must pick up this book! It is more than just recipes, but a catalogue of experiences and stories through a beautiful place, Debbie Matenopoulos who is full of energy & love for Greece and its food.
Before I begin with the recipe, I have to say these were some of the best hamburgers I’ve ever had. The mixture of fresh herbs, especially the mint, with the lemon juice, and the wonderful addition of bread into the meat (please tell me why I haven’t thought of this before), made for a flavorful, aromatic, and oh so juicy burger. I’d call it a Greek meatball burger. I am still thinking about the way the parsley smelled with the lemon juice and mint. Such a delicious flavor combination. With some fresh tomatoes and tatziki, + a yummy bun you have a perfect meal that is fresh, easy, and wonderfully Greek.
My favorite part of cooking these burgers is that they are baked, not grilled or fried, so the prep work is extremely easy and they are all ready at the same time. While the burgers were baking I was able to get my kitchen cleaned up, other ingredients prepped, and the dinner table set. Win.
Traditionally, these hamburger patties are fried, but Debbie’s baked version is light, healthy, and flavorful.
It’s All Greek to Me, Greek Hamburgers or Keftethes (kef-TEH-thes):
- 1 cup day-old bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 to 2 slices)
- 11/2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
It’s All Greek to Me, Homemade Tatziki, (dza-DZEE-kee):
- 1/2 Seedless English cucumber, peeled
- 1 tsp. sea salt, divided (plus more to taste)
- 2 c. plain Greek yogurt
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed into a paste
- 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. red or white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh dill
Directions, Greek Hamburgers:
- Soak the bread briefly in a bowl of water until wet all the way the through. Squeeze the bread to remove excess water and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the ground beef or turkey, onion, parsley, oregano, mint, lemon juice, olive oil, eggs, salt, and pepper, and knead with impeccably clean hands until well combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a large baking dish.
- Shape the meat mixture into individual patties, about 1-inch thick and 3 inches across. Spread the flour out on a large dish. Dredge each patty in the flour to lightly dust both sides and shake off any excess flour. Neatly arrange the patties in the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Serve immediately with Tzatziki on the side, if desired.
- Coarsely grate the cucumber using a box grater or food processor, and toss with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Place the grated cucumber in a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, and drain for 10 minutes. Working in batches, a handful at a time, squeeze as much remaining water from the cucumber as possible, transferring the drained cucumber to a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the rest of the ingredients along with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and mix well. You can serve the Tzatziki immediately, but I prefer to let it sit in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours so that all of the flavors blend and come alive. Tzatziki will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, but be warned: the garlicky flavor intensifies as time passes!
Once the burgers are done, place on buns and top with tomatoes, tatziki and any other fresh herbs or veggies you’d like. Prepare to fall in love, Greek style.
Amazon rated this cookbook as one of its top books in 2014! I love reading the reviews about how authentic Debbie’s food really is! Go here to purchase It’s All Greek to Me. And see other food bloggers on the #OneYrGreek tour below. Enjoy!