Who: Eden Grinshpan, Chef and Co-founder of DEZ
Chef Grinshpan’s Guest-Worthy Recipe: The Dez Shawarma Burger
“The Shawarma Burger is an American twist on a classic Middle Eastern pita. It’s such a fun and exotic way to liven up a barbecue. The tahini and zhoug sauces are also really great with grilled vegetables and salad, so make extra!”
For the burger
4 five-oz patties
1 eggplant sliced lengthwise into 4 or 5 pieces, then cut in the middle on an angle
2 1/2 c grapeseed oil for frying
5 Persian cucumbers
1 small red onion
Umbah sauce (also known as amba, mango-based)
1/4 c fresh parsley
Shawarma spice to taste
4 pitas (the fluffiest pita you can find)
For the Shawarma spice:
10 g cardamom
20 g curry powder
For the Zhoug:
1 garlic clove
1 tsp toasted cumin seeds
1 tsp toasted coriander seeds
1/2 c fresh parsley
1/3 c fresh cilantro
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 c grapeseed oil
For the garlicky tahini:
1/2 c good quality tahini (Eden recommends from Seed and Mill and SOOM)
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4-1/3 c ice water
For the Burger
Salt the eggplant and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
Make the salad: Using a mandolin, slice the radish, cucumber, jalapeño, and red onion very thin and place in a bowl. Set aside.
Pat the eggplant dry and heat up the oil.
While the oil is heating up, season the burgers on both sides with the salt and pepper, then shake over the shawarma spice. Place on a grill or flat top for two minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm until you assemble.
Fry the eggplant until it develops a golden-brown crust and place on a paper towel to drain. Season with a little salt when it comes out of the oil.
For the shawarma spice
Mix the cardamom and curry well and place in a spice shaker. Reserve for burgers.
For the Zhoug
In a blender, add in the toasted spices, give it a blend, and let the spices grind up. Add in all the remaining ingredients and blitz until it is a little chunky but mostly smooth. You want it all to really come together.
For the garlicky tahini
In a bowl combine the raw tahini, lemon juice, grated garlic, and kosher salt. Mix. Pour in the ice water. The tahini will become a thick consistency but keep adding water until it smooths out.
To assemble the burger:
Slice open the pita, drizzle in tahini to taste, 1 tsp of zhoug and a 1/2 tsp of umbah. Carefully place the burger and eggplant in the pita. Place the cucumber salad in the pita as well, in front of the patty and eggplant. Place a tablespoon of garlicky tahini on top, then add another 1 tsp of zhoug and another 1/2 tsp of umbah. Garnish with the parsley and serve.