It’s grilling time at Central Farm Markets! Everyone is getting their aprons on and their barbecue spatulas out. The market is filled with tons of great options for your barbecue: sausages from MeatCrafters, whole portobellos from The Mushroom Stand, and Veggie Patties in all different flavors from Sexy Vegie. At Bethesda Central, Painted Hand Farm has pre-made ”Euroburgers,” a combination of beef and lamb.* Liberty Delight Farms and Springfield Farm, located at all three markets, have many great meat choices – pork chops, chicken thighs, steak and more. There is no limit to what one can find when roaming the market in search of grilling options.
*The Mushroom Stand, Sexy Vegie, and Painted Hand Farm are at Bethesda Central Farm Market.
A burger is a beautiful thing – it can take on so many different flavors and toppings. I decided to bring you a recipe featuring ground lamb from Liberty Delight Farms. There is a lot of debate about which red meat is better for you – lamb or beef. I cannot settle this argument, but a balanced diet containing moderate portions of both is the way to go. So start thinking about changing the way you barbecue…add some lamb to that plate every once in a while!
This burger uses the fresh flavors of onion, parsley, and mint to enhance the grassy flavors already prominent in lamb meat. I used mint from Two Acre Farm, located at Pike and Bethesda Central Farm Markets. Nicole grows veggies and herbs in her backyard garden and transforms them into unique, mouthwatering dips, salsas, jams, and more. I like using the herbs that she sells at the market because I’ve seen the bounty of her garden and I love her practices. For more about Nicole at Two Acre Farm, read here.
There are two products from Blue Ridge Dairy Co. that I use in this recipe; Greek Yogurt and Feta Cheese. The Greek yogurt is used for tzatziki sauce, an essential addition to this dish. The fresh taste of the yogurt, cucumber, mint, and lemon in the tzatziki are typical pairings with traditional lamb dishes. The crumbled feta adds depth and creaminess to the burger and brings out the rich flavor of the lamb. All together with some red onion, tomato slices, and spinach, this burger will steal the show at your next barbecue.
Greek Style Lamb Burgers
- 1 lb. Ground Lamb (Liberty Delight Farms)
- 1 Small Red Onion, diced
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced (Two Acre Farm)
- 3 Tbsp. Mint, finely chopped (Two Acre Farm)
- 3 Tbsp. Parsley, finely chopped
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Olive Oil, for brushing
- 2 Medium Cucumbers (Twin Springs Fruit Farm)
- 1 Container Greek Yogurt (Blue Ridge Dairy Co.)
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- Juice and zest of one Lemon
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
OPTIONAL BURGER TOPPINGS:
- Feta, crumbled (Blue Ridge Dairy Co.)
- Red Onion Slices
- Spinach (Spiral Path Farm)
- Tomato Slices (Twin Springs Fruit Farm)
In a medium bowl, lightly knead the ground lamb with the onion, garlic, mint, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
Shape the mixture into 4 patties, each about ½ inch thick. Lightly brush burgers with olive oil.
Light the grill, or a grill plate on the stove. When the grill is medium hot, brush it with olive oil. Grill the lamb burgers for about 12-14 minutes, turning once (for medium meat).
While the burgers cook, make the tzatziki.
Coarsely grate the cucumbers and use a paper towel to drain the excess. Combine the cucumber, yogurt, minced garlic, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl.
Remove the burgers from grill when they reach your desired doneness. Allow them to sit at least 5 minutes.
Toast the bun (if desired). Put your burger together using the crumbled feta, spinach, tomato, and onion slices. Top with tzatziki sauce. Enjoy!
I brought this burger over to my brother’s house on Memorial Day. I have two young nephews and a sister-in-law, none of whom like lamb. All but the youngest tasted these burgers, and enjoyed them despite their preconceived notions. Watching my nephew, Ben, devour his burger was one of the greatest compliments I could receive.