Lamb Burgers & Meatballs

With Mint and Feta
It’s Memorial Day weekend and you know what I’ll be doing.  Grilling.  Yes, I live in Seattle, and yes, it has a 50% chance of rain, but if we Seattlites planned our lives around hopeful dreams of beautiful weather, we’d be waiting a lifetime.  Good weather is a bonus, but it’s certainly no reason to hold off on the backyard burger plans.  If it rains, we cook inside, turn up the heat, get into our swim trunks, make a margarita and pump up the jams.  
These burgers are crazy-simple and crazy-delish.  If you’re serving four people, make them all into burgers and try the meatballs another time.  It’s nice to have an option other than burgers, especially if you make it into a weekday meal for two.  I’m not such a fan of day-after burgers, so the meatball option is perfect for leftovers.  Add to a salad, sliver into hearty hash under eggs or make a meatball sub.  The rest of the ingredients are just as versatile.  When you work with quality, it’s hard to mess them up.   Just keep it simple.

Foodie Advice:
I bought the ground lamb at Whole Foods and it was absolutely superb.  If you don’t want to buy a whole block of feta, shop the olive/antipasto bar at nicer grocery stores to buy only what you need.   Macrina Bakery makes these rich Olivetta rolls (the size of a dinner roll) that work perfectly for 1/4 Lb burger.  You can substitute another artisan roll, shop the bakery department and look for something freshly baked, rosemary or herb rolls would work just as nicely.
Serves Four
1 Lb ground lamb 
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh mint, julienned 
1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Combine all ingredients using hands.  Portion meat in half, place one half aside for meatballs.
Burgers: Form into two patties, about an 1.5″ thick.  Heat a cast iron grill pan or outdoor grill to medium heat, cook burgers about 4 minutes per side to medium rare.
Dress the Burger:
2 Olive rolls (see Foodie Advice note)
2 tablespoons feta, divided
2 tablespoons pesto (see pesto recipe in blog), divided
1/2 cup arugula, divided
Cut rolls in half, smear each with1 tablespoon pesto, top with 1 tablespoon feta and 1/4 cup arugula. 
Serve with Salt & Pepper Fingerling Potatoes (recipe in blog) and add a bell pepper.
Meatballs: Heat oven to 350*F, roll into 6-8 meatballs and bake 18- 20 minutes.  Cool and use tomorrow.
Keywords: Lamb, Memorial Day, Macrina, burgers, Whole Foods, pesto


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