Garlic-Feta Lamb Burgers With Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce
This recipe is for a rather basic Greek-inspired lamb burger. Garlic, feta and mint are worked directly into the meat for maximum flavor, and a sauce made from yogurt, cucumber and fresh dill adds a cool fresh flavor that makes these sandwiches a delightful departure from traditional beef burgers.
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 2 to 3 medium cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices sweet onion, 1/4-inch thick
- 4 slices tomato, 1/4-inch thick
- 4 rolls (hamburger, small pita pockets or sandwich thins)
- For the sauce:
- 2/3 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and minced
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic, very finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh dill, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat.
Place the ground lamb in a large mixing bowl. Add the garlic, reserving about 1/4 teaspoon for the yogurt sauce. Add the feta cheese, fresh mint, salt and pepper. Mix well to distribute garlic, cheese and seasonings evenly throughout the meat. Gently form the mixture into four equal sized burgers and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, garlic and dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving dish.
Coat a large piece of heavy duty foil with nonstick spray, place it on the grill and arrange the onion slices in a single layer. Cook for 2 minutes, turn the onions, then add the tomato slices. Season all with salt and pepper, cover and cook until the tomato slices are softened, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Remove the foil from the grill and set aside.
Grill the burgers for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until they reach desired doneness. (Ground lamb is best served medium, which is an internal temperature of 160°F.)
To serve, place a slice of onion on the bottom of the roll, top with the lamb burger and a tomato slice, then drizzle with sauce. Serve with Eggplant "Fries" if desired (see below).
Makes 4 servings
You can serve both the onion and the tomato slices raw if you prefer, we just like the slightly mellowed flavor that brief amount of cooking produces.
To make eggplant "fries," coat a large sheet of heavy-duty foil with nonstick spray.
Peel a medium eggplant and cut it in half lengthwise. Cut each half into six lengthwise strips. Cut the strips in half crosswise and in thickness, if necessary, to make "fries" that are about 3-inches long by 1/2-inch thick.
Arrange the eggplant on the foil, brush each piece with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook until the eggplant is tender, 6 to 8 minutes, turning the pieces once during cooking.