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A Lighter Burger for the Summer Weather…

Jun 23, 2011 | 0 comments

You may think of lamb as a heavier meat, but in this recipe, it turns into a light and delicious burger that is perfect for a warm summer evening! Lamb is a lower-fat meat, so this is also healthier than your average burger, but packs more flavor than a turkey or chicken burger. The burger is served with a delicious tzatziki sauce, which is also excellent as an appetizer with pita chips and/or fresh vegetables. I often make the sauce expressly for that purpose! In this case, I’ve included a recipe that makes enough sauce that you could do a bit of both (an appetizer and burger topper). Although the burger recipe is first, both the tzatziki and tabbouleh are better when made ahead and refrigerated to let flavors blend, so you should make those things first.

The Burger

2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves
4 tsp finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/3 pound lean ground lamb
fresh arugula
fresh tomato slices
red onion slices
Tzatziki sauce (recipe below)

In a bowl, combine the lamb along with the garlic, mint, oregano, lemon juice and preferred amount of salt and pepper. Mix well and form into 4 patties. Cook patties on a hot grill or in a grill pan as you would with any other burger, until desired doneness. Serve on top of or in the pita or flatbread, along with arugula leaves, tomato, onion (which you can grill also for extra flavor) and tzatziki sauce.

Tzatziki Sauce

2 cups non-fat plain yogurt (I like to use one Greek style with one regular for a great consistency)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 serrano chile pepper, finely minced or 1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
2 Tbsp red onion, finely chopped
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed. Taste for seasoning and adjust lemon, salt and pepper as needed. Refrigerate for an hour if possible to let the flavors properly blend.



Tabbouleh Salad

1 cup whole grain bulgar wheat
2 cups water
2.5 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 small tomatoes, seeded and diced
3/4 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 scallions, chopped (both white and green parts)

Bring the bulgar and water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain any excess water, and put bulgar in a large bowl. Let cool slightly. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Pour over the bulgar (which can still be warm, but should not be piping hot) and mix. Add remaining ingredients and season to taste with salt & pepper. Tabbouleh can be served immediately, but it is even tastier when chilled, so cover and refrigerate an hour before serving if possible.

Bon appetit!



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