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Author Notes: For best flavor, season the ground lamb and prepare the basil-lemon goat cheese several hours in advance of grilling. Use mild or hot green chilies according to personal taste. I used mild, but my husband wants to try the hot. The garlic, onion, and fresh herbs may also be adjusted up or down. A lemon-basil goat cheese mixture is used both as a filling, and also as a topping, (for the topping it is sweetened with part of the honey-lemon-chili glaze. ) —AppleAnnie
Herbed lamb burgers
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 scallion or spring onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme (leaves stripped from stems)
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (leaves snipped off the stem in small pieces )
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper or to taste
- 2 tablespoons minced fire-roasted green chilies ( or about half of a small can, the Hatch brand is sold at Whole Foods)
- 2 tablespoons pitted green or mixed olives
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 4 pita pockets
For the filling and glaze
- 2 tablespoons fresh goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves snipped into small pieces
- grated zest of one Meyer lemon or regular lemon
- juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon or regular lemon
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1-2 tablespoons minced fire-roasted green chilies (or finish up the can)
- In a large bowl, mix the thyme, rosemary, minced garlic, sliced scallion, salt and pepper with the ground lamb.
- Puree 2 tablespoons of the green chilies (hot or mild, as you prefer) in a food processor with the pitted olives and Balsamic vinegar. Add the green chili mixture to the seasoned lamb and stir gently but thoroughly until well mixed. Refrigerate for several hours.
- Blend the goat cheese, lemon zest and basil and refrigerate. Mix the glaze ingredients-- honey, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon or more of the green chilies--and refrigerate.
- About half an hour before grilling time, divide the lamb mixture in half, and form 4 thin patties, making a thumbprint indentation in the center. Put a teaspoon of the goat cheese mixture in the indentation and spread it out a little, but not all the way to the edges. (Don’t use up all of the goat cheese mixture. ) Make four more thin patties, using up the remaining lamb, to top each bottom patty. Press the layers firmly to seal the edges against goat cheese leaking on the grill. Mix one to two teaspoons of the green chili-honey-lemon mixture into the remaining goat cheese, which will become the final topping.
- Grill for about 2 minutes until bottom sides are nicely browned. Flip and spoon some of the honey-lemon-chili glaze on top of each burger. Remove finished burgers and top with a dollop of the goat cheese-glaze mixture. Serve in a warm pita pocket.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Use of Lemon, Thyme and a Grill