Middle Eastern Lamb Burgers
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 small eggplant, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
- Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
- 1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley or cilantro
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander (about a palmful)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin (about 2/3 palmful)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (about 1/3 palmful)
- 2 pinches of ground cinnamon
- 4 crusty rolls, split and lightly toasted
- 4 leaves romaine lettuce
In a medium size nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and garlic and cook until tender, 12-15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor along with the tahini, lemon peel and lemon juice and puree until smooth. Season the baba ghanoush with salt and pepper. Wipe out the skillet.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the lamb, parsley, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Form into four patties.
In the skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of EVOO over medium heat until rippling. Add the burgers and cook, turning once, for 5 minutes each side for medium-rare doneness.
Slather each roll top with the baba ghanoush. Set the burgers and lettuce leaves on each roll bottom and cover with the roll tops.