A Lamb Burger To Tease the Senses

I’m addicted to cookbooks.  New, old, used … I will surely seek them out!

I came across The Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook and knew immediately, as a huge fan of Bon Appetit magazine, that I needed to add this cookbook to my collection.  First, this cookbook is huge – in a good way.  I have already spent hours pouring over the recipes and everything is explained very clearly, and the title seems to deliver its promise – fast, easy, and fresh.

Usually when I get a new cookbook, I make a theme meal centered around recipes only from my new found discovery.  Keeping with tradition, I did just that when I received this cookbook, and let me tell you that not one recipe disappointed.  They all delivered, though there were a couple minor critiques I had.

Minted Lamb Burgers with Feta and Hummus, Sweet and Sour Cucumbers with Fresh Dill, and New Potato Salad

I was first drawn to the “Minted Lamb Burgers with Feta and Hummus.”  First, I love Colorado lamb.  It has a much more robust flavor than wild Australian lamb.  It’s the difference between corn-fed beef and grass fed beef.  While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I love beef and lamb that has been finished on corn for the last month. Corn finished has a buttery fat and the wild, gaminess that is present in grass finished is not present.  The bottom line is that, in my humble opinion, corn finished tastes far more refined.  (On a side note, I know where all my beef and lamb comes from.  I have visited the small farmers, so I know the animals I’m eating had a happy life and were not confined to inhumane pens.)

The Lamb Burgers were cooked medium-rare, though a little more on the rare than medium-rare side, which I personally prefer.  The juiciness of the lamb was sumptuous and the beautiful hint of mint and paprika gave it a distinct flavor.

Minted Lamb Burgers with Feta and Hummus
The Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook

1-1/2 lbs. ground lamb
½ cup minced fresh mint
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 7- to 8-ounce block feta cheese, sliced thinly
4 kaiser rolls, split, light toasted (I prefer Pitas)
8 onion slices (I omitted)
4 romaine lettuce leaves
Purchased hummus (I made hummus, see recipe below)

Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl; blend gently.  Shape mixture into four 4-inch diameter patties.  Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add patties to skillet; cook until bottoms are well browned, about 3 minutes.  Turn patties over and top each with feta cheese.  Continue cooking to desired doneness, about 3 minutes longer for medium-rare.

Place roll bottoms on plates.  Top each with 1 onion slice, burger, lettuce leave, another onion slice, then hummus.  Press on roll tops.

I spread a layer of hummus inside the pita.  I then cut the lamb patty in half and stuffed it inside the pita.  I topped the pita with lettuce and served standing up.

The Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook

½ cup (packed) fresh parsley leaves (I omitted)
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 15- to 16-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed, drained
¼ cup sour cream
3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tablespoons Asian sesame peel
1-1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Coarsely chop parsley and garlic in processor.  Add garbanzo beans and process 30 seconds.  Add sound cream and next 6 ingredients and process until smooth.  Transfer to bowl.

I should have omitted the salt entirely.  I didn’t have tahini paste so I ground my own sesame seeds with a pestle and mortar until a paste-like consistency was reached.  

I decided I need two side dishes to accompany this tasty burger and this cookbook clearly laid out side salads.  I love cookbooks that are so incredibly organized.

Sweet-and-Sour Cucumbers with Fresh Dill
The Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook

2 English hothouse cucumbers (about 1-1/2 pounds total), unpeeled, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
½ cup distilled white vinegar
¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place cucumber slices in colander.  Sprinkle with coarse salt, toss to coat.  Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, for dressing, stir vinegar, dill, sugar, and pepper in large bowl until sugar dissolves.

Drain cucumbers well; pat dry.  Add cucumbers to dressing and stir to blend.  Refrigerate at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours; serve cold.

New Potato and Asparagus Salad
The Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook

3 medium red new potatoes (about 17 ounces), halved lengthwise
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling water until just tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain and cool slightly.  Cook asparagus in large pot of boiling salted water until just crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.  Drain.  Rinse under cold water to cool.  Cut potatoes into wedges.  Cut asparagus into 1-1/2 inch pieces.  Toss vegetables together in large bowl.

Whisk mustard and lemon juice in small bowl.  Gradually whisk in oil.  Pour over vegetables.  Add chives and toss to coat.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Serve salad warm or at room temperature.

I did not have any asparagus on hand nor did I have baby red potatoes.  Instead I used Yukon Gold potatoes and omitted the asparagus entirely.  The recipe turned out delicious and was a perfect side dish that didn’t outshine the lamb burgers, nor compete with the outstanding burger flavor.   

Overall, my husband and I both gave these four recipes a thumbs up, especially the lamb burgers as they were outstanding.  I had a different lamb burger recipe in my repertoire before this one, but I am bound to throw the old recipe away and replace it.   Truly, the lamb burger is a treat for the senses and one I highly recommend.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks for my pingback! LOVE this post!


  2. Your lamb burger and sides sound terrific. I did a post on a lamb burger recently. I’m going to try yours the next time I have ground lamb. Thanks.


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