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Lamb Burgers with Blue Cheese

Lamb Burgers with Blue Cheese
Serve these burgers in whole wheat pitas along with parsley-mint pesto. If preferred, use lavender fleur de sel instead of kosher salt.

Ingredients:

For the parsley-mint pesto:

  • 3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
      cheese
  • 2 Tbs. pine nuts
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

For the lamb burgers:

  • 6 oz. blue cheese, such as Point Reyes
      Farmstead Blue, at room temperature
  • 3 lb. ground lamb
  • 3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

To make the pesto, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the parsley, mint, garlic and olive oil and process until smooth. Add the cheese, pine nuts and salt and process until all the ingredients are combined.

To make the lamb burgers, prepare a charcoal or gas grill for grilling over medium heat. Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap.

Divide the cheese evenly into 6 pieces and shape each into a 2-inch disk. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the lamb, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper. Do notovermix. Divide the lamb into 6 portions. Mold each portion around a piece of cheese and shape into a rough ball, then flatten slightly into a 4-inch-diameter patty, making sure the cheese is completely encased within the lamb. Place the patties on the prepared tray, cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Grill the burgers, turning once, until the cheese is melted and the meat is medium-rare, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma TASTE Magazine, "Lunch on the Porch," by Donata Maggipinto (Summer 2002).