Posted by: Hil | August 14, 2009

Tahini Burgers with Wilted Spinach

 

I blogged about this creation a few weeks ago, but I have made it several times since, and it definitely merits its own post and a spot in my recipe favorites.  It’s more an idea than a recipe:  burgers with wilted spinach and homemade tahini sauce.  It is easy and the flavor combination is to die for.   When I’m at home, I like to put my filling in  half of a lightly toasted whole wheat pita.  The pita contains all of the messy filling very well and is just enough bread to make the burger seem complete without overwhelming the filling.  It’s a complete summer night dinner all by itself.

It’s also a fun and unique thing to serve company.  When serving this to guests or for special occasions, I put the burgers on good quality grilled focaccia bread.  Slice the loaf in half lengthwise, grill it, then layer on (in this order) the tahini sauce, the spinach, and then the burgers.  Slice the loaf in between each burger to create individual portions, and serve.  This goes much faster than trying to assemble a party’s worth of burgers individually.

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You all know how to grill a burger and wilt up spinach (extra points if you add garlic to the spinach), so the only trick is making the tahini sauce.  You need tahini, lemon juice, warm water, salt and paprika.  Garlic (fresh or powder) and finely minced parsley are delicious, but optional.  First, combine the lemon juice and tahini.  Start with about one teaspoon of lemon juice for every two tablespoons of tahini.  I like mine extra lemony, so I often add more.  When the taste is to your liking, stream in warm water very slowly and mix with a fork until the sauce is a pourable consistency.  Season with salt and paprika, and add the garlic and parley, if you are using them.  I never add fresh garlic to my sauce unless I am making a really big batch, because the raw flavor is very potent and can easily overpower the sauce.  If you are making a small batch, this is one of the few situations where I really recommend using garlic powder rather than fresh garlic…it gives the taste without being overpowering.  If you have leftover tahini sauce afterward, you can use it on sandwiches, grilled meats, or as a dipping sauce for veggies.

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