YaYa’s Umami Burgers and Yummy Leftover Side Dishes

Umami Burgers 3

Umami /ˈmɑːmi/, a savory taste, is one of the five basic tastes (together with sweet, sour, bitter and salty).

Well there are days when I have some great leftovers and tonight we have a wonderful leftover green bean and pea salad along with quinoa pilaf from last night both recipes below and I highly recommend them for great sides so any meal, but tonight with YaYa’s Umami burgers…

Umami Burgers

Umami Burger Recipe


  • 1 lbs ground beef-makes 4-4 ounce burgers on grilled small deli Kaiser or burger buns
  • ¾-1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce (for more daring, savory depth, use 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 fat clove of garlic minced
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • fresh ground Black Pepper to taste
  • Garnish-quick pickled red onions and grilled green onions


  1. In bowl, combine all ingredients together form patties cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.

Smaller patties will cook in less time…I like medium rare…

Pecan Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa Pilaf 3

Vegetable sauté:

1 medium diced carrot
3-4 green onions thinly sliced
1 celery rib diced *use a vegetable peeler to remove the stringy top layer of the celery
15 small sweet colored peppers diced
3/4 of cup pecans rough chopped
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup EVOO or avocado oil
1 small sprig oregano leaves
1 sprig thyme leaves
1 -2 cloves peeled and smashed garlic
Salt & pepper

6 cups cooked quinoa (cooked in chicken or vegetable broth) follow box or container instructions.

Sauté vegetables and garlic in oil and butter (tender crisp), add herbs and seasonings and sauté for another minute or so, toss in cooked quinoa, gently mix and add pecans.

Grilled Yellow squash and Zucchini-serves 2

 Marinade/dressing Marinated and Grilled Squash

  • 1 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and some grated zest
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 springs fresh thyme leaves
  • A few fresh oregano leaves
  • ½ lemon (grill with vegetables)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds


  • 1 zucchini (about 3 large), trimmed and sliced diagonally about 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 yellow crookneck squash trimmed and sliced diagonally about 1/4-inch thick
  • Salt and pepper and pinches of crushed red pepper


Add all the dressing ingredients except the oil to a bowl or container large enough to marinate the squash and then slowly whisk in oil. Add the zucchini and yellow squash to the marinade and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.  . Cover and marinate at room temperature at least 3 hours or cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.

Prepare the grill for medium-high heat or a grill pan to medium high. Grill the vegetables until they are crisp-tender and brown, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the finished squash to the marinade left in the bowl, gently toss, squeeze grilled lemon juice over and serve hot or room temperature.

Green Bean and Peas

Green Bean and Pea Salad Yotem 2

GREEN BEAN SALAD adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty Serves 4

1 cup fresh green peas 3 large handfuls young green string beans, trimmed ½ small red onion, thinly sliced 1 teaspoon mustard seeds 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 mild fresh red chile pepper, seeded and finely sliced 1 garlic clove, crushed grated zest of 1 lemon 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped 2 large handfuls baby beet greens or cleaned and torn beet leaves from regular beets.


  • Fill a medium saucepan with cold water and bring to the boil.
  • Fill a large bowl with ice water – set aside.
  • Blanch the French beans for 3 minutes
  • Transfer the beans immediately to the iced water to stop the cooking process. Drain and pat dry.
  • Using the same boiling water blanch the fresh peas for 4 minutes.
  • Transfer the peas, immediately, to the iced water to stop the cooking process.
  • Drain peas and dry.
  • Toss the beans, peas, beet greens and red onion in a large mixing bowl.
  • Place the mustard seeds and olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat When the seeds begin to pop, pour the contents of the pan over the vegetables.
  • Toss well then place in a serving dish.
  • Sprinkle the top of the salad with chopped chile pepper, garlic, lemon zest and tarragon. Season with coarse sea salt to taste.