My Big Fat Greco-Inspired Burgers
Tzatziki with Feta
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup crumbled Greek feta cheese
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large eggplant, sliced into rounds 1/2-inch thick
2 pounds ground lamb
3/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 small pita breads, halved horizontally
3 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
To make the tzatziki, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the grilled eggplant, combine the vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and then whisk in the oil until the mixture is thick and well blended. Arrange the eggplant slices in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish, pour the dressing over, and turn the eggplant to coat well. Set aside.
To make the patties, combine the lamb, mint, and cumin, in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the pita breads.
When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Grill the eggplant slices until tender, about 3 minutes on each side. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the pita breads, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
To assemble the burgers, on each bread bottom, place 1/2 cup lettuce, a patty, an equal portion of the tzatziki, and an eggplant slice. Add the bread tops and serve.