Greek spinach veggie burgers (4 servings)

gpvb.jpg

Since my teenaged years, I've had an unusually strong love of feta cheese, especially for a Polish girl. I'll eat it plain. I'll throw it into just about any pasta dish. I'll melt it on crackers or chips. I'll add it to my salads. Yes, the salty tang of feta makes my heartbeat quicken. I could probably write a poem in dedication to feta if I had a few more minutes to spare.

Spinach and feta were made for each other, just as basil was made for tomatoes and rosemary was made for potatoes. This recipe (filed under "beef" in the URL, for some reason), from Better Homes and Gardens, pairs spinach and feta with other classic Greek flavorings: olive oil, dill, and oregano. Not only are these burgers delicious, but they come together really quickly. Counting prep, this recipe takes only about 20 minutes to make. If you can, set the frozen spinach out on the counter and hour or two before cooking; otherwise, thaw it in the microwave.

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup dry herb-seasoned stuffing mix (make sure you use one without chicken flavoring, such as Arrowhead Mills)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 10-oz package frozen spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained (I used a colander and my hands to squeeze out the water)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • burger buns or pitas
  • topics of your choice: tzatziki sauce, tomato slices, roasted red pepper slices, more feta, etc.

Steps:

  1. Combine 1/4 cup of the oil with the garlic, oregano, dill, and black pepper in a medium bowl. Add in the dry stuffing mix and stir to coat with oil and seasonings. (I used a spoonula.) Stir in the eggs, spinach, and feta; mix well.
  2. Shape the mixture into four 1/2-inch thick patties. If they're not sticking together, you might need to add a little more stuffing mix. (If they fall apart, it's probably because the spinach isn't dry enough, but you can still make it work!)
  3. Heat a large rimmed skillet over medium heat; add remaining 1 Tbsp oil. Add the patties to the hot skillet. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side, or until browned (the cheesy bits will get crispy!) and heated through. Serve on choice of bread with preferred toppings.

I love, love, love these burgers. The stuffing mix makes them buttery and full of herb flavor. I served them for dinner on buns with tzatziki sauce and had a leftover burger for lunch on a pita. Mmm. I could make and eat these at least once a week. If I ever open a cafe (don't hold your breath), this will be one of the items on the menu with the little symbol beside it that tells you it's a house speciality. And the symbol will be a little heart exploding with passion for feta cheese.