I love grilling- cooking and eating outside are among my favorite rites of summer. But I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have the largest repertoire of grill-friendly recipes. We do a lot of grilled vegetables and turkey burgers, and embarrassingly little beyond that.
This summer, I’ve vowed to expand our horizons. So when I spotted some ground lamb at our local butcher shop last week, I decided to experiment and make lamb burgers, inspired by the flavors of kefta.
The result was AWESOME. Ground lamb is pretty lean, so I added a couple of tablespoons of some ricotta I had in the fridge to keep it moist- feta or greek yogurt would work for this purpose, too. Also, grating the onion is a trick I picked up from a cooking magazine somewhere- it adds a lot of flavor and moisture, without leaving big chunks of onion in your final product.
I formed the mixture made small, oblong, flat patties, which we grilled and then served in small pitas with hummus, cucumbers, and feta. SO TASTY.
The flavor of ground lamb really is different from beef or turkey, and provided a great change of pace. I actually made this twice last week- the second time for company- and it was a great, casual, customizable meal. Feel free to play around with the toppings, keeping in mind that lamb pairs especially well with Mediterranean and middle eastern flavors- a sauce with yogurt and dill or mint would be great, as would a tomato/cucumber relish.
Grilled lamb mini-burgers
(makes 6-8 patties, which was enough to serve 2 as a main course; recipe can easily be doubled)
1/2- 2/3 lb ground lamb
2 Tbsp ricotta or greek yogurt
2 Tbsp minced cilantro
½ of a white or yellow onion, coarsely grated on a box grater
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
some freshly ground pepper
Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly. Pat into 6-8 oblong patties. Grill over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes per side. Serve with pita and your favorite toppings.
(Photos from: me)