Spring Herb Lamb Burgers with Whipped Feta and Grilled Tomato

Spring Lamb Burger with Whipped Feta // Not Without Salt

We’re in that in between where the weather tells us it’s summer but the calendar reminds us that school is still in session, deadlines loom, and we have three weeks to pack up six years of life in this house before we move it all to a new home. But we are indeed Seattleites because here, no matter what the calendar says or how long the to-do list is, when the sun is out you get outside. We have endured the gray months in order to revel in these sort of evenings where light lingers well passed bedtime and dinner demands to be enjoyed outside.

To-do lists exist and can not be ignored but they can be put on hold for the sake of sinking into an adirondack chair and taking a moment to simply enjoy the day rather than slog through it one check mark at a time. I, for one, will take any chance I can get to cook dinner over a fire while enjoying a cold glass of rosé in the sun. Especially when dinner is a very herby lamb burger capped with a grilled tomato, arugula plucked from the garden, whipped feta, and a soft bun. These are the meals and moments that power the to-do lists.

Spring Lamb Burger with Whipped Feta // Not Without Salt Spring Lamb Burger with Whipped Feta // Not Without Salt

The lamb, however lean, is rich, packed with protein and nutrients and earthy in flavor. Lamb and herbs are both champions of spring and when combined into a burger and met with a hot grill it marks the intersection of spring and summer. Which, I might add, makes this a perfect contender for a Memorial Day BBQ. The burger is simply adorned with whipped feta (whipped with olive oil until creamy and light) peppery arugula, and a tomato seared over the grill to encourage sweetness and to create a texture that melts into the burger. This is the sort of burger that calls for a soft bun; a brioche or potato roll are both great contenders.

I do hope that your plans for this holiday weekend teeter more to the side of savoring than that of to-doing.

Spring Lamb Burger with Whipped Feta // Not Without Salt Spring Lamb Burger with Whipped Feta // Not Without Salt

*A hearty thank you to the TRI-LAMB Group for sponsoring this post and thereby giving me the opportunity to create this burger which will become a regular on our summer rotation. Check out their Facebook page or Instagram for more great lamb recipes. As always, the words and the recipe are mine.

Spring Herb Lamb Burgers with Whipped Feta and Grilled Tomato

Serves 4

This recipe is really quite simple and can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd. Use whatever mix of fresh herbs you have on hand keeping to mostly the light leafy ones like mint (lamb LOVES mint) parsley, chives, dill, basil, etc.

There’s a bit of olive oil added to meat to tenderize and add in a bit of fat. I love the how lean lamb is but for the grill a bit of fat helps to ensure the burgers stay tender and juicy.

 

8 ounces feta

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 pound ground lamb

1 cup fresh herbs (such as basil, mint, parsley, and dill), finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 large tomato, sliced

4 burger buns

fresh arugula or other leafy green for serving

 

Combine the feta and 3 tablespoons olive oil in a food processor and process until completely smooth, about 2 minutes.

In a medium bowl combine the ground lamb, fresh herbs, garlic, kosher salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mix well.

Form into four 4 ounce patties.

Grill over high heat until cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.

Remove the burgers from the grill and set aside.

While the burgers rest, brush the tomatoes with the remaining olive oil and place on the grill. Grill until char marks appear and the tomato just starts to soften, about 2 minutes per side, depending on the heat of your grill.

Grill the buns until toasted then spread the whipped feta on both halves. Add the lamb burger then top with a grilled tomato and fresh arugula.

 

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Coconut Rhubarb Creamsicles

Coconut Rhubarb Creamsicles // Not Without Salt Coconut Rhubarb Creamsicles // Not Without Salt

This is just the sort of thing you make when spring brings rhubarb as red as a fire truck.

It is just what the day needs when the sun struts its stuff as if it’s summer.

It’s what you make when you taste spring in the form of a rhubarb popsicle at the market while simultaneously sneaking bites of your husband’s coconut creamsicle.

This is what we make to remind us of a sunny day at the farmer’s market where we tucked pea shoots under our arms and each of us devoured a different sort of frozen treat.

We make these because having a stash in the freezer is just what is needed when a sweet little girl is home sick from school with a fever and her mom needs a little sweetness to push through the afternoon.

At the end of a long, sunny spring day, it’s just what is needed.

Coconut Rhubarb Creamsicles // Not Without Salt Coconut Rhubarb Creamsicles // Not Without Salt

 

 

Coconut Rhubarb Creamsicles

Makes 10 popsicles

Sweet, tart, and creamy; all the makings of a fine spring treat. Feel free to use coconut cream for an added indulgence. Or part coconut milk and heavy cream if dairy isn’t an issue.

The soft spice adds a warming note but if you want the zip of rhubarb to really shine it’s okay to leave out the spice.

Regular granulated sugar is a fine substitute if you don’t have natural cane sugar.

This is the popsicle mold I use and love: Norpro Ice Pop Maker

 

 

Rhubarb Popsicle

 

1 pound cut up rhubarb

1/2 cup natural cane sugar

pinch ground cinnamon (optional)

pinch freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

1/4 cup water

juice from one small lemon

 

Coconut Cream

1 15 ounce can full-fat coconut milk

3 tablespoons natural cane sugar

pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean

 

 

For the rhubarb: Add the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and water to a saucepan. Cover with a lid then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the rhubarb easily falls apart when gently pressed.

Remove the pan from the heat then add the lemon juice.

Carefully transfer the rhubarb mixture to a blender and blend until completely smooth.

Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. You can use less sugar if you like a very tart rhubarb taste.

Let this mixture cool for at least 30 minutes.

 

For the coconut: In a medium bowl whisk together the coconut milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla.

 

Carefully divide the two mixtures between 10 popsicle molds.

I like to layer the mixtures then use a butter knife to give a gentle stir, breaking up the layers and adding a subtle marbling.

Freeze until completely firm. At least 4 hours or overnight.

Unmold the popsicles by running warm water on the sides.

 

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