Mediterranean Sliders with Harissa

Unlike most veggie burgers, these are juicy and won't fall apart on the grill. Plus, it's an easy recipe that allows you to customize the ingredients to yours and your guests' tastes.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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3  grams Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled (you'll need 1/2 cup cooked)

1 cup baby spinach

2/3 cups canned chickpeas, or bean of your choice

1/3 cups pitted kalamata olives, diced

1/3 cups red bell pepper, diced

3 tablespoons rolled oats, optional

3 tablespoons red onion, diced

1 tablespoon onion granules, or onion powder

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

8 "slider" whole-grain hamburger buns or sliced bread

1 red onion, sliced and grilled for garnish

1 cup arugula

1 cup white bean puree, recipe follows

1 cup harissa, a Tunisian hot pepper paste, recipe follows

red onion, grilled

White Bean Puree

2 cups cooked white beans

3 tablespoons roasted tahini

1 1/2 lemons, juiced

3 cloves roasted garlic (or 1 raw clove)

sea salt to taste

Black pepper

Rustic Harissa

2 red bell peppers

2 teaspoons coriander seed

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds

1 fresh red fresno chili

3 garlic cloves, peeled 

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 medjool date, pitted and minced

Pinch course sea salt


  1. To make the coarsely mashed potato, blanch medium chunks of peeled Yukon Gold potatoes in boiling water for 15 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, char the red bell pepper over an open flame. Blanch the spinach in the simmering potato water, by quickly submerging the spinach in the water using a fine mesh strainer, for a few seconds. Remove and coarsely chop.Finely mince the red onion, garlic and kalamata olives and combine in a large mixing bowl. Add the parsley and the chopped spinach.
  2. To the mixing bowl, lightly crush and add the chickpeas. After about 15 minutes, remove the potatoes from the boiling water and add to the mixing bowl. Remove the red bell pepper from the flame and allow it to cool slightly. Peel, de-seed, chop and add the red bell pepper to the mixing bowl. Add the onion granules, black pepper and cumin to the mixing bowl. Mix and mash the burger mixture together with your hands. If the mixture is too moist, mix in the rolled oats. The oats will help absorb a bit of the moisture.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Form the mixture into burger-sized patties and place on a lightly sprayed baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes and flip and continue baking for an additional 5 to 8 minutes until both sides are golden brown.
  4. While the patties are baking, heat a heavy duty grill pan over medium-high heat. Slice the purple onion and if you're using whole grain bread, cut the circles for the sliders. To make the White Bean Puree and Rustic Harissa, see below. Toast the bread (or buns) and onion slices on the hot grill pan. Remove and set aside. After 10 to 12 minutes, flip the patties and return them to the oven for a couple of minutes.
  5. To finish the sliders, assemble the toasted bread or buns, white bean puree, veggie patties (removed from the oven after a few additional minutes), grilled onion, rustic harissa and arugula. Serve immediately.

White Bean Puree

Yield: 1 1/2 cups
  1. In food processor, place all ingredients and process into a smooth, thick puree.

Rustic Harissa

Yield: 1 generous cup
  1. Roast the red peppers over an open flame. Once they are charred, place in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes to sweat. Remove the black skins and coarsely chop. In small dry saute pan set over medium heat, lightly toast the coriander, cumin and caraway seeds for a couple of minutes until aromatic. Using a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind. Add the red bell pepper, garlic, lemon, date and sea salt and continue to grind into a coarse paste. If you are using a food processor, add the toasted spices first, then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse a few times to make a coarse puree.
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