Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lamb burgers tonight!

Summertime means burger time. I don't have a grill and that doesn't stop me, nohow! Lamb might be my favorite medium and this recipe is superlative. I tried it because I had beets in my CSA share this week. And the olives were a draw, as well. Sweet and salty with a touch of smoke from the cumin in the lamb; this combo is packed with freshness and flavor.

If you don't like lamb, use beef. If you don't like burgers, skip them altogether and make the salsa to serve with fish or all by its lovely lonesome. That said, I highly recommend this meal as is, but don't skip it all together if you're not into one of it's parts. I said, ...

Moroccan-spiced lamb burger with beet, red onion and orange salsa
adapted from The Gourmet Burger
serves 4


2 beets
2 T olive oil
1 T honey
1/2 orange
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/4 cup green olives, chopped

  • Roast beets or boil as follows: Cut off greens about 1 inch above roots and wash beets. Place in a small sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring water to boil, lower heat and gently boil beets, covered, for about 30 minutes. Test doneness by piercing with a pairing knife. If it easily cuts through the beets, they're done. Rinse beets with cold water and, when cool enough to handle, peel beets and cut into 1/3 inch cubes.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the olive oil and honey in a medium work bowl.
  • Cut the top and bottom off of the orange and rest on either side. Using the curve of the fruit, cut off the skin and pith (the white part) from top to bottom. Over the work bowl with oil and honey, hold the orange in your hand and use a pairing knife to cut along the white membranes into the middle of the fruit in order to remove the segments. Once you've segmented half the orange, set it aside to eat or use later. Use a whisk to slightly break up the orange in the oil and whisk until combined. Pictures below.
  • Add beets, onions and olives to vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. Can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.


1 T olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t paprika
1 1/4 lb ground lamb

4 buns or nutty bread (I used Eli's Health Loaf and it was super tasty, but required a knife and fork. A bun is probably easier.)
mayonnaise, if there is excess liquid from the salsa, add it to the mayo for added flavor
mixed greens

  • In a small saute pan, heat oil over medium-low and cook shallot and jalapeno until just soft, 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine the shallots and jalapeno mixture with garlic, cilantro and spices. Add lamb, mix gently and shape into 4 patties. Can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
  • When ready to cook, heat medium saute pan (with 2 T olive oil) or grill to medium-high and cook burgers for 4 minutes on each side, turning only once, for medium.
  • While burgers are cooking, grill or toast bread.
  • Top burger with mayo, greens and a spoonful of salsa. Serve remaining salsa on the side.
  • Enjoy!

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