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Sumac Spiced Burgers with Pomegranate Aioli on Beet Buns

Amy Kritzer
Crazy burger!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Meat
Cuisine Jewish
Servings 4 -6


  • For Beet Buns:
  • 1 small beet
  • 3 tablespoons grape seed oil plus more for drizzling beet
  • 3/4 cup almond milk or water 110 degrees
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 package 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg plus 1 for egg wash
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Sesame seeds I used wasabi
  • For Pomegranate Aioli:
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 large pasteurized egg yolk
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil canola or vegetable work well too
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For Sumac Burgers:
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • Salt pepper, sumac
  • Avocado for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the beet, sprinkle with salt, and wrap in foil. Roast for 45-60 minutes or until tender. Rub off skin or use a vegetable peeler to peel it off. Place beet and grape seed oil in a food processor and puree.
  • Whisk together almond milk, sugar and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5-10 minutes. If it doesn't form, try again! Your yeast is dead of the water too hot. Then in a stand mixer with dough attachment (you can use a hand mixer or a spoon too) add flour and beat. Then add egg, beets and salt and beat until a dough forms. Knead for about 10 minutes until soft.
  • Shape dough into a ball and let rise in a greased bowl in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper. Divide dough into 6 equal parts (mine were 5.5-ish oz. a piece). Roll each into a ball and place 2-3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 400° with rack in center. Beat one egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush some on top of buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (I found these green wasabi sesame seeds!) Bake, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking, about 15 minutes total or until lightly browned. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  • To make aioli, place pomegranate juice in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium high heat until it reduces to 1/4 cup. Let cool. Whisk together Dijon mustard, egg yolk, and lemon juice together in a bowl medium bowl. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, starting with just a few drops, while whisking. Keep adding the olive oil until the mixture emulsifies and thickens. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down and nothing drips out once it is ready! Then whisk in 1 tablespoon pomegranate juice. Reserve for assembling burgers.
  • Divide burgers into 4-6 patties 3/4 - 1 inch thick. Season liberally with salt, pepper and sumac. Don't play with your meat too much ;) or it will get tough. Use your thumb to make an indent in each burger to prevent spreading.
  • Put the burgers on a lightly oiled pre-heated grill over medium heat or grill pan and grill for about 5 minutes per side until cooked to desired doneness and has an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
  • To assemble, put burgers on the bottom side of a bun and top with aioli. Top with avocado, serve and enjoy!
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