Friday, July 29, 2011

Greek lamb burgers with arugula, tomatoes & feta cheese

...but I made it!  The party being fabulous Greek cuisine made at home.  First there were the chicken yee-rows gyros.  I loved 'em the night I had them, and loved them the next day when I polished them off for lunch.  I couldn't stop thinking about the flavors and -- oh my gosh -- the feta cheese.  Yum!

Good thing I had another Greek dish on the menu for later in the week: lamb burgers!

If you've been around here for a hot minute or two, you know that I've had a real thing for burgers this summer.  Of any shape and kind.  ChickenTurkeyStuffedFrom the sea

So maybe it's more than a thing.  Maybe it's closer to an obsession.  Puppy love, perhaps?  Or lamb love.

What, too much?

Back to this lamb burger.  It's exotic and different without being weird or unobtainable... does that make sense?  And it's flipping delicious.  And will knock your socks off.  That's really all you need to know, frankly.

Because lamb is a relatively lean meat, the patties totally benefited from a genius addition: a milk-soaked pita.  Attention Self Magazine recipe editors -- you are awesome.  This made the burgers so unbelievably juicy!

Being without a grill, I cooked my burgers in the oven and they turned out quite lovely.  Since the patty is a bit looser and wetter (similar to the rosemary chicken burgers), I imagine it might be a little dicey to cook these over a traditional grill, so stick to the oven or a stove top grill pan. 

Gorgeous, right?  Straight outta a food magazine, I'm tellin' ya!  The lamb was so different and yet so right as a burger.  Like it belonged on that bun just for me.  With the peppery arugula and sweet tomatoes (grown locally and soooo much tastier) and crunchy onion.  And the feta.  Ooooooooh the feta!  Tangy and creamy and mine all mine.  You know, I honestly considered gobbling up the remaining cheese and trying to pass off the burger to Matt without any feta.  Don't worry, I didn't have the guts to do it, and I think he appreciated it.

Speaking of parties (bringing things full circle here), I'm off work today so that Matt and I can road trip to Villanova for a wedding!  Matt's one of the groomsman, so we'll get to take part in all of the festivities.  I feel like I'm scoring some kind of VIP pass due to my connections :)  Pictures and all the details to come next week.  This is my first wedding as an engaged woman, so I can't wait to see how different it feels knowing that that will be us in less than 5 months.

Enjoy your weekend -- the last one of July -- and if you're in the Pittsburgh area, catch some of the Batman filming action!

Greek Burgers with Arugula, Tomatoes and Feta
(adapted from Self Magazine)
-makes 4

1 whole wheat pita or slice of bread, torn into pieces
1/4 cup milk
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried)
4 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 pound lean ground lamb
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cups arugula
1 medium tomato, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 red onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/3 cup crumbled feta
4 burger buns

2/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup peeled, seeded and finely diced cucumber

Heat oven to 350˚F.  Chop pita and transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with milk.  Let soak 5 minutes.  Pour off excess milk. Puree soaked bread, onion, garlic, herbs and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Transfer puree to a bowl. Add lamb, season with salt and pepper and combine. Form into 4 patties.

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook burgers to medium, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.  (Or cook burgers in oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until meat is cooked well.)

Whisk yogurt, mint, garlic, mustard and honey in a bowl.  Stir in cucumber and season with salt and pepper. Split open bun, spread dressing on both inside surfaces.  Layer arugula, burger, tomato, red onion, cheese, and more dressing, and top with remaining bun half.

No comments:

Post a Comment