Eating outdoors and grilling something on the barbeque is always a go-to for Father’s Day in our house. I don’t know if it’s because cooking meat over fire seems manly. Or because the weather on the third Sunday in June is usually too nice to consider being indoors. Whatever the reason, we often end up having some version of steaks, Italian sausages, or hamburgers along with the usual picnic sides like potato salad and corn on the cob. This year, instead of serving our old standbys, I thought I’d change things up and make deliciously spiced lamb burgers as the entree in a Greek-inspired Father’s Day Menu.
Growing up, my only exposure to lamb was a plain roast, cooked to death, and served with mint jelly. Frankly, I found this disgusting. It tasted like toothpaste on a very gamey piece of shoe leather. It wasn’t until I was in college, and had the opportunity to try a gyro from a street vendor, that I realized that I actually didn’t hate lamb.
Since then, I’ve tried a lot of different lamb recipes. One I particularly love, and make for Christmas every year, is “Lamb With Peppercorn Crust” from the original Silver Palate Cookbook. However, I’d never tried to make lamb burgers. Then, a couple of years ago, I discovered that the meat market in my grocery store had started carrying ground lamb. I was so excited. I took it home, slapped it into patties, and threw them on the grill. What I learned from that ill-begotten experiment is that the key to making lamb burgers is properly spicing the meat.
After consulting various lamb burger recipes online and testing out different spice combinations and ingredients, I have come up with, what I consider to be a fool-proof easy recipe for lamb burgers, perfect for a Greek-inspired Father’s Day Menu. I like to prepare an easy chickpea salad and Greek oven fries to go with the burgers. To round out the menu you can purchase pita chips and hummus to have as an appetizer. It’s also fun to stick with the theme and get traditional Baklava from a Greek bakery or restaurant for dessert. I’m betting that if you make this meal for the dad in your life, he will be saying Opa!
Greek-Inspired Father’s Day Menu
- Lamb Burgers (see recipe below)
- Chickpea Salad (see recipe below)
- Greek Oven Fries
- Pita Chips & Hummus
- Rioja wine
- 1½ lbs. Ground Lamb
- ½ Medium yellow onion minced
- 1 tsp Roasted ground cumin
- 1 tsp Allspice
- ½ tsp Ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp Ground cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 Egg lightly beaten
- ¼ cup Plain breadcrumbs
- Olive oil cooking spray
Place the ground lamb in a medium bowl.
Add the minced onion, spices, egg, and breadcrumbs and mix to combine. ( I have found that the best way to mix the ingredients is to use your hands.)
Form the mixture into 4 patties.
Spray the grill liberally with Olive Oil and grill patties for approximately 10 minutes, 5 min. per side.
Serve on buns or pita with a good prepared tzatziki sauce ( I like Cedar's Cucumber Dill Tzatziki Sauce) and sliced tomato.
Easy Chickpea Salad
- 1 15oz. can Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
- ¼ Medium red onion sliced into 1-inch slices
- 2 cups Grape tomatoes halved
- ½ English cucumber sliced
- 6 oz. Crumbled feta cheese
- ⅓ Newman's Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium bowl combine the chickpeas, onion, tomato, cucumber, and feta.
Dress the salad with the vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper, toss and serve at room temperature or chilled.
Happy Father’s Day!
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