Burger Bash: Moroccan Burgers with Harissa Mayo and Fennel Slaw

Now that’s a spicy meatball…

I’m off to Portland, Oregon for a few days of food, wine and yoga. Excuse me for a second.


Whew. Sorry about that. I got a little excited. I’ve never been to Portland, but I just have this idea that I would be happy to live there. Oh, and did I mention that the kids will be at home enjoying some extra special time with a very special aunt? It’s all good.

I might even try to post from there, if I can remember to bring along all the right cords and cameras.

In the meantime, here’s another burger from my grill. I just loved these – the harissa mayo is a gorgeous deep, dark saffron color and just spicy enough.

Moroccan Burgers with Spiced Carrot Fennel Slaw and Harissa Mayonnaise

makes 6 burgers
2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 fennel bulb, stems trimmed, cut into matchsticks
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt, to taste
Harissa Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons harissa paste
1 teaspoon ground paprika
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 egg yolk
1 – 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
2 pounds ground lamb or pork
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup mixed baby spinach or salad greens
6 hamburger buns, split and toasted

Prepare carrot relish: Toss carrot, fennel and mint in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients; pour over carrot mixture and toss to coat.

Prepare the mayonnaise: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in the harissa, paprika and garlic. Cook, stirring, until garlic becomes fragrant, about 1 minute. Set aside to cool slightly. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg while slowly dribbling in the remaining olive oil, until thickened. If mixture becomes too thick, add some lemon juice to thin it out.
Whisk in the harissa mixture until smooth; season with salt. (Harissa mayonnaise will keep 3 days, covered and refrigerated)

Prepare the patties: In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Divide mixture into 6 portions; shape each portions into patties sized to fit the buns.

Prepare a medium-hot fire and oil grill rack. Cook patties 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.
To serve, arrange lettuce leaves on bottom buns, followed by patty, mayonnaise and slaw.

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