Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 30: Lamb Patties with Garlic and Mint over Mediterranean Chopped Salad

3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided
1 3/4 pounds ground lamb
5 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon grill seasoning, such as McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
1/2 seedless cucumber, chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 cup feta cheese crumbles (1/3 pound)
8 pepperoncini peppers, chopped
   Juice of 2 lemons
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 pita breads, any flavor or brand, warmed in the oven, then cut into halves or quarters

Coarsely chop the parsley. Set aside two thirds and finely chop the rest.

Heat a grill pan or a large nonstick skillet to medium-high heat. Place the ground lamb in a bowl with the garlic, shallots, mint, finely chopped parsley, grill seasoning, cumin, and a generous drizzle of EVOO. Mix the meat and score it into 8 portions. Form 8 patties, each 3 inches across and 1 inch thick. Add the patties to the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes on each side.

While the meat cooks, combine all the vegetables with the reserved coarsely chopped parsley, the olives, cheese, and hot peppers. Dress the salad with the juice of 2 lemons and about 3 tablespoons EVOO. Season the salad with salt and pepper.

Serve the salad with 2 patties of lamb on top and warm pita bread alongside.


These lamb patties and salad were pretty good. The patties were small and the salad was light and refreshing. It was a little sour, but not too bad (I only used the juice of 1 1/2 lemons, because the lemons were used in the lemon curd that was made yesterday). I got flatbreads on accident instead of pita breads, so no pockets, but I thought they tasted even better. I didn't change anything in this recipe. There was a lot of chopping, but the actual cooking time was only about 10 minutes, so it all evened out.

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