Walnut Pomegranate Persian Burgers
The love I have for my Persian culture and its many flavors.
WALNUT POMEGRANATE SAUCE
2 cups walnuts
1/4 cups pomegranate paste (I use Sadaf brand)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 to 2 cups water, divided
2 pounds ground beef brisket, chilled
1 medium onion, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1-2 tablespoons flour, if needed
2 tablespoons dried mint, crumbled with fingers
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
12 Boston lettuce leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
6 slices beefsteak or ugli tomatoes, each slice cut in half (2 large tomatoes)
1 12 ounce package of queso fresco cheese , crumbled (I use Real California brand)
6 soft naan breads
olive oil for brushing (1/4 cup)
Heat the walnuts in a dry pan on the grill over medium-low heat until fragrant, taking care to not let them burn. Place the walnuts, pomegranate paste, lemon juice, tomato sauce, sugar, cinnamon, salt and 1/2 cup water in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Pour into a medium saucepan, and add enough water to make a thick batter consistency. Heat on the coolest part of the grill (or on a side burner turned to low) all the while stirring so as to not burn the walnuts, adding more water as necessary. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, then take off the heat and cover to keep warm.
With a large metal fork, lightly mix the meat mixture (ground beef brisket, onion, salt and pepper). Sprinkle in some or all of the flour if needed to help hold its shape, and form into 6 oblong patties. Mix the dried mint, salt, pepper and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
Grill burgers over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, and immediately sprinkle with half of the dried mint mixture. Tent with foil.
Brush the naan with oil, and grill over medium heat oil side down, for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the naans with the rest of the dried mint mixture.
With the short side of the nan towards you, place 2 lettuce leaves and some fresh mint along the lower half, then 2 sliced tomatoes, a burger, a good dollop (3 to 4 tablespoons) of the walnut mixture, and a sprinkling of cheese. Fold the naan to make a sandwich.