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.
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.
*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
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.