Za’atar-Spiced Beef Burgers with Harissa Mayo & Tahini Zucchini
Great for Grilling

Za’atar-Spiced Beef Burgers

with Harissa Mayo & Tahini Zucchini

40 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

For a bit of Mediterranean flair, these zesty burgers are packed with herbaceous za’atar and slathered with a smoky spread made from harissa paste and mayonnaise. We’re serving them alongside crisp sliced zucchini simply marinated in a nutty tahini and garlic dressing.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    850 Cals (est.)
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Prepare the ingredients & make the harissa mayo:
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the harissa mayo:

If you’re grilling, preheat your grill to maintain a temperature of 450-500°F. Oil the grill grates. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and finely chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Halve the zucchini lengthwise; thinly slice crosswise. Peel the onion; cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds, keeping the layers intact. Halve the buns. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and harissa paste.

Marinate the zucchini:
2 Marinate the zucchini:

In a bowl, combine the vinegar, tahini, a drizzle of olive oil, teaspoons of water, and up to half the garlic paste. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until smooth. Add the sliced zucchini and stir to coat. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, at least 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the onion:
3 Cook the onion:

STOVE: In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Keeping the layers intact, add the onion rounds; season with salt and pepper. Cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until lightly browned and slightly softened. Transfer to a plate. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan.
GRILL: Drizzle the onion rounds with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; gently turn to coat, keeping the layers intact. Grill 8 to 9 minutes per side, or until browned and softened. Transfer to a plate. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Form & cook the patties:
4 Form & cook the patties:

In a medium bowl, combine the beef, za’atar seasoning, half the breadcrumbs (you will have extra), and remaining garlic paste; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into two 1/2-inch-thick patties; transfer to a plate. 

STOVE: In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the patties and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the pan.
GRILL: Lightly oil the patties. Grill 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate.

Toast the buns & serve your dish:
5 Toast the buns & serve your dish:

STOVE: Heat the same, dry pan on medium-high until hot. Add the buns, cut side down and toast 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a work surface.
GRILL: Grill the buns, cut side down, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a work surface.

Assemble the burgers using the toasted buns, harissa mayo, cooked patties, and cooked onion (you may have extra onion). Serve the burgers with the marinated zucchini on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

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Prepare the ingredients & make the harissa mayo:
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the harissa mayo:

If you’re grilling, preheat your grill to maintain a temperature of 450-500°F. Oil the grill grates. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and finely chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Halve the zucchini lengthwise; thinly slice crosswise. Peel the onion; cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds, keeping the layers intact. Halve the buns. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and harissa paste.

2 Marinate the zucchini:

In a bowl, combine the vinegar, tahini, a drizzle of olive oil, teaspoons of water, and up to half the garlic paste. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until smooth. Add the sliced zucchini and stir to coat. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, at least 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Marinate the zucchini:
Cook the onion:
3 Cook the onion:

STOVE: In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Keeping the layers intact, add the onion rounds; season with salt and pepper. Cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until lightly browned and slightly softened. Transfer to a plate. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan.
GRILL: Drizzle the onion rounds with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; gently turn to coat, keeping the layers intact. Grill 8 to 9 minutes per side, or until browned and softened. Transfer to a plate. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

4 Form & cook the patties:

In a medium bowl, combine the beef, za’atar seasoning, half the breadcrumbs (you will have extra), and remaining garlic paste; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into two 1/2-inch-thick patties; transfer to a plate. 

STOVE: In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the patties and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the pan.
GRILL: Lightly oil the patties. Grill 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate.

Form & cook the patties:
Toast the buns & serve your dish:
5 Toast the buns & serve your dish:

STOVE: Heat the same, dry pan on medium-high until hot. Add the buns, cut side down and toast 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a work surface.
GRILL: Grill the buns, cut side down, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a work surface.

Assemble the burgers using the toasted buns, harissa mayo, cooked patties, and cooked onion (you may have extra onion). Serve the burgers with the marinated zucchini on the side. Enjoy!

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