Harissa Chickpea Burgers

1/2 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tablespoon harissa
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup pistachios, unsalted
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup bread crumbs

1. In a skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes, until translucent. When soft, add the minced garlic, cumin, paprika, cinnamon and harissa, along with two tablespoons of water. Mix until combined and until it resembles a thick wet paste.  

2. In a food processor, add the shallot/spice mixture, chickpeas, pistachios and salt; pulse until roughly chopped. Using a spatula, scrape down sides and pulse one or two times. Taste for salt (1 teaspoon was perfect for me); add more, if you like. Remove half of the mixture and transfer to a bowl. Add the egg to the food processor and pulse until the mixture is nearly smooth. Add the mixture from the food processor to the bowl and combine both mixtures. Fold in the bread crumbs. Next, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.  

3. To form the patties, scoop about 2 tablespoons of the mixture onto your palm and form the patties. Heat a grill pan over medium heat and brush it generously with olive oil. Cook on both sides for 3-4 minutes. Serve the burgers on burger buns or fresh soft pita. 

Yields 6 burgers

<strong>Cucumber Mint Yogurt</strong>

1 cup yogurt
1 cup cucumber, diced
3 tablespoons mint, minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
salt and pepper

1. In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, cucumber, mint and lemon zest. Salt and pepper to taste.