If you visit the Mediterranean, you’re bound to see lamb sizzling away over the coals on many a grill. The meat’s tender texture and distinct flavor make it the perfect candidate for a smoky char and an assertive spicy mayo. Serve this lamb burger next to a Grilled Greek Salad, and wash it all down with an ouzo-spiked melon cocktail.
What to buy:Harissa is a fiery Tunisian spice paste that ranges in consistency from smooth to slightly chunky. It’s available in tubes and jars at many Middle Eastern and gourmet markets or you can make your own.
Game plan: If you’re grilling outside, toast the rolls right on the grill while the cooked patties are resting. If you’re grilling inside using a grill pan, toast your rolls in the oven, because the moisture left in the pan from cooking the burgers will make the rolls soggy.
3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion (from about 1 medium onion)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 large egg
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoonsground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoonskosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for oiling the grill
4kaiser rolls, sliced in half horizontally and toasted
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 1 ounce)
16 (1/4-inch-thick) slices English cucumber (from about a 4-inch piece)
4romaine lettuce leaves
For the harissa mayonnaise:
Place the mayonnaise and harissa in a medium bowl and mix to incorporate. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
For the burgers:
Place all of the ingredients except the oil in a large bowl and, using your hands, mix until just combined. Divide the meat into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into an even 1/2-inch-thick patty that is about 1 inch wider in diameter than the kaiser rolls. Using your thumb, make a shallow 1-1/2-inch-wide indentation in the center of each patty (this helps the burgers cook more evenly). Transfer the patties to a plate and refrigerate while you prepare the grill.
Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium high (about 450°F to 550°F). When the grill is ready, use tongs to rub the grate with several layers of paper towels dipped in vegetable oil.
Place the patties on the grill indentation-side up, close the grill, and cook undisturbed (do not press down on the patties) until grill marks appear on the bottom, about 6 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the patties, close the grill, and cook until the juices run clear and the patties are firm to the touch, about 6 minutes more. Remove to a clean plate and let rest in a warm place or tent loosely with foil for 5 minutes.
Spread about 1 tablespoon of the harissa mayonnaise on each top and bottom roll (2 tablespoons per burger—you will have some mayo leftover). Divide the feta among the bottom halves and top the feta with 4 cucumber slices per burger. Place a lamb patty on each bottom half and top with a lettuce leaf. Close with the roll tops and serve immediately.