This burger is an obvious nod to my Greek heritage. What really makes this burger pop, in my opinion, is the crunchy cucumber topping with a nice squeeze of lemon.–Michael Symon
LC Our Buns Note
Hey, you’ve checked out our big, beautiful buns, right? You know, our Beautiful Burger Buns? Uh, as in, our recipe? They’d be spectacular here. Not to be egotistical or anything, just sayin’….
Lamb Burger with Arugula, Feta & Cucumbers
- Quick Glance
- 40 M
- 40 M
- Serves 10
- 5 pounds ground lamb (ideally, you’d ask your butcher for a mix of 2/3 shoulder and 1/3 belly)
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
- 1/4 cup finely chopped mint leaves
- Finely grated zest 2 of lemons, preferably organic, lemons cut into wedges and reserved
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta
- 10 hamburger buns, split
- 1 English cucumber, scrubbed but not peeled and sliced
- 2 cups arugula
- 1. In a medium bowl, combine the lamb, ground coriander, mint, and lemon zest, preferably with your fingers. Form the meat into 10 patties, making sure not to compress the patties too much. Try to make the patties slightly wider than the buns as they’ll shrink a bit during cooking.
- 2. Heat a charcoal or gas grill or a grill pan to medium-high.
- 3. Season the patties liberally on both sides with salt and place on the grill or grill pan, in batches if necessary to avoid crowding them. Cook the patties 4 to 5 minutes per side, depending on your desired degree of doneness. I love these burgers somewhere between medium-rare and medium.
- 4. When the burgers are almost but not quite done, crumble some feta on each so it can melt. Also place the buns on the grill or grill pan to toast.
- 5. Place a burger on each of the bottom buns and top with some cucumber and arugula. Squeeze a reserved lemon wedge over each burger and sandwich with the tops of the buns.
Recipe Testers Reviews
I often make lamb burgers and was excited to try a slightly different approach. These absolutely didn’t disappoint. These were juicy, flavorful, and easy to throw together (says the person who didn’t have to actually grill them). The recipe halves nicely, but also makes great leftovers. We used creamy French feta that melted beautifully. The cucumber adds a nice crunch and thank you, recipe, for having your cooks directly salt and pepper the meat right before grilling! It makes for a much juicier and more flavorful patty. Grilling the buns is a MUST!
Is there anything more springlike than a juicy bit of lamb, especially if it’s wrapped up in a little soft pillow of bun and set off by a bunch of feta? For me this screams spring—bring it on! I love a good lamb burger, and I love all the extras this one has on top: the salty feta, the peppery arugula, and the crispy cucumber finished off with the squeeze of lemon. It’s delicious. I like mine medium-rare, which suits this recipe perfectly. I also think English cucumbers are important here as they’re not nearly as watery as the other kind. If you don’t have a butcher who’ll give you just about anything your little heart desires, most stores now sell ground lamb just like ground beef. It’s quite good and would work well in this recipe. The advantage of having it freshly ground is the ratio of fat to meat, which can really make a difference. I used Greek feta, the kind that comes in a block, so I could slice it on my burgers. It stays on a little better than the crumbled kind they suggest. I must say this really is a great burger and such a nice change from beef burgers, especially in the spring when lamb is at its best.
Oh, the joy this recipe brought my family! We grilled the burgers, loaded them with the toppings, and wrapped them in wax paper for a quick outdoor picnic. The meat, cheese, cucumber, arugula, salt, lemon, and mint combine to create a delicious flavor explosion. I cut the recipe in half, and then used 1/2 lamb and 1/2 ground veal (my husband thinks regular lamb burgers are overwhelming, so these were perfect). Instead of hamburger rolls, I used grilled flatbread.
This was a very good burger. It was easy and quick to make, even with us grinding our own lamb. All of the flavors are distinct on their own, yet meld together very nicely. The creaminess of the feta, the peppery arugula, and the crisp slices of cucumber would work well for people who find lamb a bit gamey on its own. I also really enjoyed the lemon juice squeezed over the top. I divided the recipe in fourths, which was more than enough for 2 people. Our patties were about 3/4 of an inch thick. We cooked them in a cast-iron grill pan. They didn’t need more than 3 minutes per side to be medium-rare. It’d be helpful for the recipe to have some sort of guideline for the thickness of the patties, for folks who haven’t cooked lamb burgers. We’ll be cooking these lamb burgers again.
I purchased the lamb today at 5:00 p.m., freshly ground, and cooked it this evening two ways—one for my teens and one for hubby and me. For the teens, I topped the lamb burgers with Havarti cheese (a cheese they favor) and served them on a ciabatta roll with a side salad of cucumbers and carrots. Our kids RAVED about the recipe.
For hubby and me, I cooked the burgers as written but augmented the topping to be more of a Greek salad, as described below. We chose to eat the burger sans bread, with a fork and knife, and truly enjoyed it.
For the salad, I used 3 tablespoons of diced red bell pepper, a 1/4 cup of diced English cucumber, 2 tablespoons of diced red onion, 2 tablespoons of diced green onion, 3 tablespoons of sliced Kalamata olives, 3 tablespoons of grape tomatoes cut in half, and a 1/4 cup of feta cheese, crumbled. Place ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside.
For the dressing I used a 1/4 cup of EVOO, 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve it atop the lamb burger.