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Spiced Vermont Lamb Burgers with Feta and Olive Relish and Herb Yogurt

Recipe from The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook (Skyhorse Publishing).

Serves 5

These succulent and vibrantly flavored lamb burgers have a Greek twist reminiscent of a lamb gyro pita sandwich.

 

Herb Yogurt

1 cup whole milk yogurt

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Feta and Olive Relish

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled or diced into 1/4-inch cubes

1/2 cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted and diced into 1/4-inch cubes

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, minced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar

Lamb Burger Rub

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Lamb Burgers

2 pounds ground Vermont lamb 5 buns, such as challah or brioche Unsalted butter, softened

Pickles

For the herbed yogurt: Line a fine-mesh strainer with two layers of cheesecloth. Ladle the yogurt into the prepared strainer and let drain at room temperature for 2 hours. Discard the whey and transfer the yogurt to a small bowl. Stir in the garlic, dill, parsley, and lemon juice until well combined.

While the yogurt is draining, make the feta and olive relish. In a medium bowl, combine the cheese, olives, basil, olive oil, and vinegar. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

While the relish is in the refrigerator, make the lamb burger rub. In a small bowl, combine the salt, coriander, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper. Set aside. 

For the lamb burgers: Using your hands, form the meat into five 6-ounce balls and carefully knead each ball for about 1 minute. Form the balls into 11⁄4-inch-thick patties. Sprinkle the burgers lightly on both sides with some of the rub, then let them sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

While the burgers are sitting at room temperature, heat a gas or electric grill to medium-high heat and generously brush the cooking grate with oil. Grill the burgers on one side until a nice crust forms, about 4 minutes. Using a large spatula, carefully flip the burgers and cook until a meat thermometer reads 125–130 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare, about 5 minutes, or to your desired doneness. Remove the burgers from the grill and let rest for 2 minutes.

While the burgers are resting, grill the buns. Brush the inside of each bun with butter and grill for about 1 minute on each side. To assemble, spread each bottom bun with about 1 tablespoon yogurt, or to taste. Top each bun bottom with a burger. Spread each burger top with about 2 tablespoons relish. Cover the burgers with the bun tops and serve with pickles on the side.