This dish is inspired by an idea from a French-Armenian chef I admire, Sonia Ezgulian. She made the carrot burger and in the middle, shaped a patty with a cooked chicken breast mixed with fromage blanc; I made patties with kafta instead and served it with extra lemon (on the carrots) and dilled labneh on the side (for the kafta).
- 1 Pound carrots
- 1 Pound beef (extra-lean is best)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup of chopped onion
- 1/2 cup of minced parsley
- Spices for the carrot burger: salt, pepper (to taste), 1/2 teaspoon of paprika or Aleppo pepper or chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
- Spices for the kafta: salt, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of sumac, 1/2 teaspoon of allspice, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika or Aleppo pepper
- Olive oil, as needed
- 1/2 cup of labneh or Greek yogurt, drained for a couple of hours
- 1/4 cup of chopped fresh dill
- Peel and blanch the carrots in boiling water for 3 minutes (this step can be bypassed but I did not like the carrots to be too raw). Drain thoroughly, then shred; add one large egg and mix well (add another egg if necessary) and mix in all the spices. Set aside.
- Shape the kafta in the food processor: process the meat and spices with the onion and parsley; add two egg yolks if desired.
- Spread the kafta on a work surface and cut with the cookie cutter into patties; fry on both sides in a bit of oil and set aside. Fry the carrots in the same manner.
- To assemble: place one carrot patty, one kafta patty and finish with one carrot patty. Top with a few fresh herbs for garnish and serve each plate with a dollop of labneh mixed with a couple teaspoons of chopped dill. Serve with some quartered lemons if desired.
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