Santorini Burgers with Chopped Taverna Salad

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.


1 large shallot, peeled and quartered
2 large fresh lemons, zested and juiced
1/4 cup Colavita extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 tablespoon minced fresh oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds ground lamb
1 1/2 teaspoons Greek seasoning
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced (including some green tops)
1/2 cup English hothouse-type cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 radishes, diced
2 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (for oiling grill grate)
6 thick pita breads
6 large leaf lettuce leaves


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

In a food processor, puree shallot with lemon juice (reserve zest for later use), oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper; remove and reserve.

To make the patties, combine lamb with half of the pureed mixture. Add Greek seasoning, blending well but handling as little as possible to avoid compacting. Divide mixture into 6 equal patties. Chill patties until grill is ready.

Gently toss feta cheese, tomatoes, green onions, cucumber, olives, radishes, parsley and basil with the remaining pureed mixture and reserved lemon zest, blending well. Reserve.

When grill is ready, brush clean grill rack with vegetable oil. Place patties on the rack; cover and cook, turning once, until done to preference, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of grilling, place the pita breads on the outer edges of the rack and toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, slice off and discard about one-fourth of each pita bread and carefully spread the bread apart to form a pocket. Stuff a burger patty and a lettuce leaf into each pocket. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, add feta/tomato mixture and serve. Makes 6 burgers.