Photo by Michael Piazza / Styled by Catrine Kelty
In the early spring, as soon as the snow melted and the earth in the garden was workable, weekends were spent outdoors. Lunch and dinner were cooked on an open fire near the garden. No Weber, no charcoal, no hot dogs… just a wood fire pit with a large grate was my father’s barbecue. That is where he would grill fat Toulouse sausages and the wonderful merguez our friend Bernard, a fantastic charcutier, would provide for the shop. I’m still dreaming about those merguez and have been chasing that perfect taste for years. Grilled lamb burgers bring me back to those fond memories.
1 pound ground lamb
2 tablespoons minced shallots
10 Kalamata olives, chopped
1½ teaspoons Curio Spice Co.’s Aegean salt (or ½ teaspoon each of salt, grated lemon zest, dried thyme)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
½ cup feta cheese
¼ cup yogurt mixed with 1 tablespoon fresh dill
thin-sliced red onion
4 hamburger rolls, brioche rolls or pita bread
In a large bowl mix all the ingredients until well distributed, making sure not to over-mix the meat. Divide into 4 equal patties. Heat a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of neutral oil and cook the patties 3 minutes per side for medium rare (or grill outside on a charcoal grill).
Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Serve on your choice of bread with the fixings; spoon the yogurt-dill sauce over the meat and stack with cucumber, tomato and red onion.
This story appeared in the Spring 2019 issue.