Mediterranean Spice Crusted Lamb Burgers with Grilled Sweet Onions and Red Bell Peppers and Feta, Raisin, and Kalamata Olive Relish
Feta, Raisin, and Kalamata Olive Relish:
1/4 cup Sutter Home Merlot Wine
1/3 cup raisins
2/3 cup Feta cheese crumbles
1/3 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
Grilled Sweet Onions and Red Bell Peppers:
1 1/2 large red bell peppers, seeded and quartered
4-1/3 inch thick sweet onion slices
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Spice Crusted Lamb Patties:
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds ground lamb
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
extra virgin olive oil for brushing on grill rack
6 bakery style kaiser rolls, split
2 cups baby spinach leaves
Heat a gas grill to medium high heat.
To make the Feta, Raisin and Kalamata Olive Relish, place wine in a small heat safe sauce pan and place on grill rack. Add raisins and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally until raisins are plumped, a couple minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Drain remaining wine from raisins. Pat raisins dry with a paper towel. Toss raisins, feta, and olives together in a small bowl and set aside.
To make the Grilled Sweet Onions and Red Bell Peppers, drizzle both sides of red bell peppers and onion slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on grill rack (use a small grill pan for the onions if necessary) and cook about 4 minutes per side or until soft and slightly charred. Set aside and keep warm.
To make the Spice Crusted Lamb Patties, stir brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, cumin and pepper together in a small bowl. Place lamb, 1 teaspoon salt, crushed red pepper, and 1 tablespoon spice mixture in a large mixing bowl and mix together gently. Form mixture into 6 patties to fit the rolls, taking care not to compact the meat. Evenly press the remaining spice mixture on one side of each patty, making sure to go all the way to the edges.
Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the grill rack, spice side down, and cook for 3-4 minutes or until a nice crust forms, taking care not to burn spices. Turn patties and cook additional 4-5 minutes or until done to preference.
Place the rolls cut side down on the grill rack to toast and warm during the last few minutes of cooking patties.
To serve, place a portion of spinach on each warm and toasted roll bottom. Top each with a portion of feta, raisin and kalamata olive relish, a juicy, spice crusted patty, a red bell pepper quarter and portion of onion rings, and roll tops. Serve.
Yield: 6 burgers