Minted Lamb Burgers, Greek Style with Mediterranean Relish and Feta-Yogurt Spread
Use soft dried figs (not dried figs with tough skins) such as California Nutra Figs, soft dried apricots sealed in pouch-type bags, and roasted almonds with skins on.
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted kalamata olives
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped stemmed dried California figs (see Note)
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots (see Note)
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped dry-roasted whole almonds (see Note)
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoons Colavita balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 pounds ground lamb
- 1/4 cup Sutter Home Merlot
- 2/3 cup finely chopped shallots
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 teaspoon ground dried Mediterranean oregano, preferably McCormick’s brand
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons cracked black pepper
- 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 small clove garlic, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
- Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
- 6 large bakery cracked-wheat hamburger buns
- 24 baby arugula leaves, rinsed and dried
NOTE: Use soft dried figs (not dried figs with tough skins) such as California Nutra Figs, soft dried apricots sealed in pouch-type bags, and roasted almonds with skins on.
To make the relish, combine the olives, figs, apricots, almonds, mint, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Combine the oil, vinegar, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to blend, then stir into the relish mixture. Set aside.
To make the patties, place the lamb in a large bowl and break into small clumps with a fork. Add the Merlot, shallots, mint, garlic, oregano, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Mix together, handling as little as possible, and then form the mixture into 6 equal patties to fit the buns. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To make the spread, combine the cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and salt in a food processor and process until almost smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the mint. Cover and refrigerate until assembling the burgers.
Heat a gas grill to medium-high. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium. During the final 2 minutes of cooking, split the buns horizontally and place, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack and toast to golden.
To assemble the burgers, stir the spread, then smear equal portions over the bun bottoms. Top each with a patty, then add 4 arugula leaves and equal portions of the relish. Cover with the bun tops and press gently.