Herbed Lamb Burgers with Tahini Spread

img_2838Lamb patties are ubiquitous in Israel. Many are served grilled and some are fried. They are usually small and are plated with several for each serving. While I love eating them that way, at home, I wanted it simplified and since I hate frying foods and don’t own a grill, my version is made in the broiler. If you use a food processor to finely chop everything, this takes no time to make. This recipe is based off one by Janna Gur from her cookbook, Jewish Soul Food┬ábut with changes by me. They are Syrian and called Ijeh B’Lameh. I serve the burgers with Tahini Spread and my Eggplant Raita (see previous recipe.)

Herbed Lamb Burgers with Tahini Spread

Yield: 6-7 burgers

Ingredients

For Lamb Burgers

1.5 pounds ground lamb

2 large eggs

1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled

4 Tablespoons dry bread crumbs

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley

1 bunch fresh cilantro

2 bunch fresh mint

3-4 scallions (white and light green parts)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Kosher salt and either Aleppo pepper or cayenne pepper to taste

3-4 Tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to broil with the broiler pan in the oven. (Turn off your smoke detectors!)  Place the eggs, onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, mint, bread crumbs and scallions in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until everything is finely chopped and well mixed.
  2. In a large bowl, place the lamb, pine nuts and salt and pepper and mix well. Add the herb mixture and using your hand (forget the yuck factor!) mix everything together.
  3. Form 6 or 7 patties.
  4. Carefully spray the hot broiler pan with a cooking spray (or lightly oil the pan) and add the patties. You should hear a sizzle when the patties go on. Cook for 13-15 minutes, depending on how rare you like our lamb. Do not turn the patties or they will break.
  5. Serve one patty per person with Tahini Spread on top and the Eggplant Raita and a green salad and pita on the side.

For Tahini Spread

Ingredients

1/2 cup tahini (find a good brand like Soom)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Using a whisk or fork, stir through the tahini until the oil and spread are thoroughly mixed and the tahini is malleable.
  2. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper.
  3. Start adding ice-cold water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, whisking well with each addition until the tahini is creamy and the consistency you like. It should be thicker for a spread and thinner if using as part of a salad dressing. The color of the tahini will change from dark beige to ivory. Any extra can be stored in the fridge for later use. Some people also add minced garlic and a dash of ground cumin, but if the quality of the initial tahini is good, you really don’t need anything else.

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