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Ottoman Empire Burger with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce & Mint Grilled Onions


The ‘ottoman empire burger’~~hummmm, sounds pretty amazing and fancy schmanzee, huh? Now just how did I get that name~~well, if you explore the ingredients, you’ll understand more! Some of these ingredients, including the spices, date back to long ago, and, yes, maybe even to the Ottoman Empire!

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  • 2 pounds ground beef (80/20)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Harissa paste
  • 1/2 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 4 medium sharp cheddar cheese, smoked, thick slices
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups drained and pureed roasted red peppers
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon Harissa paste
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 large sweet onions sliced in thin rings
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 4 large soft sesame seed buns
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
  • 1 cup fresh pea shoots
  • 12 kosher dills, sliced thin


Servings 4
Adapted from


Step 1

In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and blend together. Set aside for plating. Portion out ½ cup for mixing into the grilled onions.

Burger Patties:

Combine the beef, salt, pepper, Harissa paste, yogurt and fresh mint in a large mixing bowl. Combine together well with hands. Portion into 4 equal parts and make large patties.

Coat a grill with cooking spray. Heat to 400-450 degrees. Coat both sides of the burgers with cooking spray. Put on the grill. Close the lid. Cook for about 4 minutes per side. Turn off heat. Place cheese on burgers. Close lid and let the cheese melt.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:

Combine the pureed roasted red peppers, lemon zest, mint, olive oil, salt, Harissa paste and mayonnaise in a bowl and blend. Remove ½ cup for the sautéed onions. Set aside until ready to build the burgers.

Grilled Onions:

Heat a large heavy skillet on medium high. Add the olive oil, onions, salt, and pepper and sauté about 10 minutes until the onions are tender and caramelizing. Reduce heat to low/simmer and add the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and mint and blend in. Cover with a lid until ready to build the burger.

Buns & Burger Building:

Butter the inside of the buns. Sprinkle on some of the pepper to the both sides of the buns. In a non-stick skillet over medium high heat, place the buttered side down and grill about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for building the burger.

Spread 2 tbl of the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce on the bottom side of the grilled bun. Add the burger with melted cheese. Add a some of the pea shoots. Place 3 thin slices of the Kosher dill on top of the pea shoots. Pat down with your hand to secure. Add equal amounts of the Grilled Onions. Spread 3 tbl of the Roasted Red pepper Sauce on the inside of the inside of the top bun.

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