- 2 pounds ground chicken or ground lamb
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano, stripped and finely chopped or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon coriander (a palmful)
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin (half a palmful)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 4 teaspoons hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (5-6 sprigs), chopped
- 2 lemons
- 3/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, 1/4 cup chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 small clove garlic, grated with a Microplane or small side of box grater
- 1 English (seedless) cucumber, 1/4 cup peeled and finely chopped and the remainder cut into bite-size chunks
- 4 plum tomatoes, lightly seeded and cut into bite-size chunks
- 8 Greek hot pickled peppers, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 1/3-1/2 pound feta, sliced or crumbled
- 4 crusty rolls, split and lightly toasted
- Romaine lettuce leaves
- Specialty chips in a Mediterranean flavor
Place meat in a large bowl and add oregano, coriander, cumin, cayenne or hot sauce, thyme, the zest of 1 lemon, about 1/4 cup chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Mix and form four large patties. Use your palm make an indentation in the center of the patties to prevent the dreaded burger bulge when they cook.
Heat two tablespoons EVOO, twice around the pan, in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Cook patties 6-7 minutes on each side.
While burgers cook, mix yogurt with grated garlic and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Place 1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber on a paper towel-lined plate to drain, then add to yogurt. Season the yogurt with salt and stir to combine.
Place chunks of cucumber, tomatoes, hot Greek pickled peppers, bell pepper and red onion in a bowl and add the 1/2 cup remaining parsley leaves. Dress the salad with the juice of 1 1/2 lemons, 1/4 cup EVOO, salt and pepper. Toss salad and arrange the feta on top.
Serve the burgers with yogurt sauce and romaine lettuce on crusty toasted rolls. Pile the salad and chips along side.