Lamb Burgers with Mint Pesto and Whipped Feta

May 24, 2018
Lamb Burgers with Mint Pesto and Whipped Feta

Author Notes: This is my attempt to recreate a rather fabulous burger I had in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. It's a bit involved, with two different condiments made from scratch, but everything can be done in a food processor and made ahead of time. This will make more pesto and whipped feta than you need for the burgers--use the leftover pesto on pasta or grilled meat, and the whipped feta as a dip with veggies. And to really take these burgers over the top, serve them on pumpkin buns: https://food52.com/recipes...ieatthepeach

Serves: 6
Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 10 min

Ingredients

For the mint pesto and whipped feta:

  • 2 packed cups fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced (optional)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

For the burgers:

  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • 6 leaves butter lettuce (optional)
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. To make the pesto: In a food processor, combine almonds, mint, Parmesan, and garlic. Pulse until everything is finely chopped. With the processor running, open the feed tube and drizzle in the oil in a slow, steady stream. Process until the pesto is as smooth as you like it. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Use immediately, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days (the color will darken as it sits).
  2. To make the whipped feta: If your feta is in brine, drain it and pat it dry. Crumble the feta into the food processor, and pulse until it’s broken up into small pieces. Add cream cheese and let the machine run, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides, for 4-5 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and thick. Add lemon zest and pulse to combine. Use immediately, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week; bring it back to room temperature before use.
  3. To assemble the burgers: Divide the ground lamb into 6 portions, and shape each portion into a burger patty. Season the burgers generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the burgers to your desired doneness (I do 4 minutes per side over fairly high heat for an even medium). Remove the burgers from the heat and let them rest for a few minutes.
  4. While the burgers rest, slice the hamburger buns in half and spread some mint pesto and whipped feta on each bun. Place a lamb burger on each bun, along with a lettuce leaf (if using). Devour.

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