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Lamb Burgers with Mint Greek Salad Topping

Here, a juicy burger is topped with a big serving of Greek salad. Mint-scented quinoa stands in for a bun to absorb the delicious flavors. Try using sheep’s milk feta cheese, which lends a wonderful fresh taste to the dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Kosher salt, to taste, plus 1 tsp.
  • 10 oz. large plum tomatoes, halved, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 Persian cucumber, finely diced
  • 3 Tbs. diced feta cheese
  • 2 Tbs. plus 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/4 lb. ground lamb
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing, plus 1 Tbs.

Directions:

Rinse and drain the quinoa 4 times, then place in a saucepan. Add the 1 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for at least 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, the 2 Tbs. onion and 2 Tbs. of the mint. Season with salt and pepper.

In a bowl, combine the ground lamb, paprika, the 1/2 cup onion, 1/4 cup of the mint, the 1 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper and mix gently to blend. Form the lamb mixture into 4 patties, each 1/2 inch thick. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each patty. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large fry pan over medium-high heat and brush with olive oil. Add the patties to the pan and cook, turning once, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until done to your liking.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Stir in the 1 Tbs. olive oil and the remaining 2 Tbs. mint. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the quinoa among 4 warmed plates and top each with a lamb patty. Spoon the tomato mixture generously over the patties and quinoa and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Cook’s note: Make an indentation with your thumb in the center on one side of the meat patties to help them stay flat during cooking. Without this step, they tend to swell up into a tennis ball shape.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free, by Kristine Kidd (Weldon Owen, 2013).