My Moroccan spiced lamb burgers with feta

Wait what … it is already June! Gosh time does fly. I am ready for the summer seasonal vegetables and fruits coming our way. How about you? Lovely tomatoes, courgettes, peaches and figs. YUMMMMM. With the weather warming up and long days till almost 10 pm we are entering the official grilling season. The aromas in the air of the neighbours BBQs have me salivating. But whether you have or don’t have (like me) a BBQ to grill on, my lamb burgers are easy and all you need is a grill pan.

My recipe today is Moroccan inspired as I am flavouring the lamb with a common used spice blend called raz-el-hanout. This spice mix is a blend of ground cumin, coriander seeds cinnamon, cardamon, dried ginger, chili flakes and turmeric. You can make your own or buy it ready made in most supermarkets in Brussels.

Batbout  is a typical chewy pita-like Moroccan bread . During cooking the bread should puff up with air and leave a pocket easy to get stuffed like a sandwich.  In this recipe I use store bought pita breads for ease .

Keftas are meat balls of ground beef or lamb, traditionally seasoned with a mixture of spices and fresh herbs like coriander and mint. Also bread crumbs are added to help abosrb the flavours and hold the meat together. I used panko crumbs, well because I had those in the cupboard but that extra crunch is lovely. This ground meat mixture is made into small patties and stuck on skewer or rolled into oval shaped meatballs. I decided to make mini burger patties.

Harissa is a spicy hot paste made from ground chilies, garlic, olive oil and spices, it’s served with almost everything  in North Africa. I gave my version a touch of lemon zest and mint for freshness and chopped dates for sweetness.

Moroccan spice lamb burgers with feta and harissa

Yield 3 burgers

Ingredients

  • 200 gr lamb filet, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon raz-el-hanout 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 red onion, diced finely
  • frying oil
  • salt and pepper
  • handful spinach leaves, washed
  • 20 gr feta
  • 3 tablespoons harissa, home made or shop bought
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 dates
  • 5 mint leaves for the harissa, 3 mint leaves chopped for the burgers 
  • 3 pitta breads

Instructions

  1. Mix the minced lamb with the raw-el-hanout and cumin, add the breadcrumbs, onion and season with salt and pepper. Make the little patties, 9 in total.
  2. Grill or shallow fry the burgers. Remove from oil and reserve. Blend the harissa sauce with the mint leaves, lemon zest and dates in blender.
  3. Cut the pitta bread in half and heat up in the microwave for a few seconds. 
  4. Compose each burger: add harissa sauce, 3 mini burgers, spinach leaves, chopped mint, some red onion and feta. Prick the bread shut with a toothpick. Repeat twice .

Notes

on www.leeksandhighheels.com by Sandra Slawinski

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