Sunday lunch, lamb lovers unite

This morning as I gazed into the meat case at Berkeley Bowl, my eyes landed on a plump mound of marbled lamb goodness. Overwhelmed by desire for a lamb burger, I saw a burger in my future. I envisioned a juicy burger, slathered in yogurt sauce and dripping in tomatoes.

If you don’t like lots of flavor, don’t make this flavor-bomb sandwich. The addition of pomegranate syrup to the meat adds tartness and cuts down on the fatty flavor of lamb. Za’atar, a Middle Eastern herb-spice blend adds an herby flavor but is optional.
It may even be too much for some folks, but not for me. You can change reduce some of the spices if don’t like bold flavors. Feel free, here it is.

Lamb burger

Lamb burger with yogurt-cilantro-dill sauce and mint tomatoes

Lamb Burger for Two
1 medium to large ciabatta roll sliced in half (use a roll with a soft crust)
1/2 pound ground lamb
1/2 teaspoon each ground: cinnamon, paprika, garlic powder, ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons pomegranate concentrate
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
Za’atar to taste
Extra virgin olive oil

Mix the spices, except za’atar, together in a small bowl and set aside. Place lamb in a bowl, add pomegranate syrup, spice mixture, salt, pepper and mix well. Set aside. Preheat a grill pan and brush the bread with olive oil. When hot, grill cut side only until golden brown, remove and set aside. Form the lamb mixture into a patty that fits the bottom half of your roll. Brush the pan with olive oil and grill the burger until cooked medium rare, about 3-4 minutes per side. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of za’atar before turning. After turning, add some sliced red onions to the cooked side and put the rest in the pan to cook alongside the burger. While the burger is cooking, make the yogurt sauce and mint tomatoes.

lamb burger with zaatar cooking

Lamb burger with za'atar cooking

Cilantro-Dill Yogurt Sauce
4 ounces non-fat Greek style yogurt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Mix everything together in the order given and set aside.

yorgurt, dill, cilantro

Yogurt, cilantro, dill sauce

Mint Tomatoes
Handful of sweet mini tomatoes of your choice, cut into halves or quarters if using large cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon sliced mint
Salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil to taste

Mix everything in a bowl together and set aside.

Tarragon-Whole Grain Mustard
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon chopped tarragon

Mix together and set aside.

Tarragon, whole grain mustard spread

Tarragon whole grain mustard spread

Sandwich Assembly
Spread light amount of tarragon-mustard mixture on bottom of bread, place burger and onions on top. Place 2-3 heaping tablepoons of yogurt-herb sauce, then drizzle with mint tomatoes and add top slice.

Lamb burger with yogurt cilantro dill sauce and mint tomatoes

Lamb burger with red onion, yogurt cilantro dill sauce and mint tomatoes

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