It’s grilling season! If you want to shake up your beef burger routine but don’t have hours to marinate and smoke ribs or brisket, try a lamb burger. This recipe from Seattle Farmigo Organizer, Shawna Belmont, is packed with lots of Mediterranean flavors and two delicious spreads that add creaminess and depth.
If you can manage it, try to eat these outside on a warm summer evening for the full enjoyment factor — preferably with a cold drink in hand.
Spiced Lamb Burger with Feta-Blue Cheese Spread and Garlic Scape Aioli
Makes 2 burgers
10 oz ground lamb (makes 2- 5oz patties, use more if you like a larger patty)
1 TB chopped parsley
1 ts. chopped Greek oregano (regular oregano is fine if Greek is not available)
1 ts. chopped rosemary
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 ts. (or more if you like heat) dried chile flake of your choice
1/2 ts. sumac
Gently mix together all ingredients till just incorporated. Divide into 2 patties and refrigerate until ready to grill.
Feta-blue cheese spread
1/4 cup crumbled sheep’s milk feta
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
4 large mint leaves
1 garlic clove
1/4 ts. red chile flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
Place all ingredients except oil into a food processor. Pulse to combine the cheese and herbs. With the motor running continuously, pour the oil in through the lid in a steady stream. Continue blending until you’ve incorporated all of the oil, and the spread is smooth. Store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble. Tip: Repurpose any leftover spread! Rub it on on roasted corn, put a dollop on top of grilled steak, or eat it as a dip with crackers and raw veggies.
Garlic Scape Aioli
4 garlic scapes, trimmed at top and bottom and roughly chopped
1/2 ts Dijon mustard
1 egg yolk at room temperature
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup neutral oil (I prefer grapeseed, but canola or safflower will also be just fine)
Salt to taste
Using a food processor, pulse the garlic scapes, dijon, egg yolk, and lemon juice until the scapes are finely minced. With the motor running, very slowly begin adding the oil. Continue adding the oil until it has all been incorporated. Taste and add salt and more lemon juice if necessary. Store in the refrigerator until burgers are ready to assemble.
2 slices of heirloom tomato
1/2 cup arugula (other greens can also be used, but I think the peppery arugula flavor pairs great with the other accompaniments)
1/4 cup pickled peppers (use a mild or spicy variety depending on your preferences)
2 burger buns
Preparing the burgers
Heat a gas or charcoal grill. Remove the lamb patties from refrigerator and season one side generously with salt and pepper. Place the lamb burger, seasoned side down, on the hot grill. Now season the side facing up with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes and then turn (without flipping) about 1/4 turn, and cook for another 2 minutes. Flip the burger and cook about 2 minutes on that side. Do another 1/4 turn and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
At this point your lamb burger should be medium-rare to medium, which is how I recommend eating lamb to keep it juicy. If you’d like it a little more done, continue cooking for another minute or two. Transfer burgers to a plate and allow to rest 3-5 minutes.
Slice the buns and brush with olive oil. Place on grill and toast till warmed through and you have visual grill marks. Spread the Feta-blue cheese mixture on the top bun, and the aioli on the bottom bun. Place patty on top of aioli and top with tomato, arugula and pickled peppers. Add the top bun, and dig in!
Shawna Belmont is a Farmigo Organizer for the First Hill Farm Fresh community in Seattle, WA. Learn (and taste!) more at Farmigo.com.