Mediterranean Burgers with Fattoush Salad


  • 3 pita breads, torn into pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 cup full-fat plain yogurt, look for Greek-style yogurt
  • 3/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves (three handfuls), 1/4 cup chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated with a Microplane or small side of box grater
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (a palmful)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (1/3 palmful)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika (half a palmful)
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning, such as McCormick brand Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 1/2 English (seedless) cucumber, diced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced into bite-size pieces
  • 4 ribs celery with leafy greens, chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 3 vine-ripe tomatoes, lightly seeded and diced
  • 1/2 pound feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 6 pepperoncini (hot, light green peppers), chopped
  • Juice of 2 lemons


Pre-heat the oven 375°F.

Arrange the torn up pieces of pita bread on a cookie sheet. Transfer to hot oven and toast until crispy, about 6-7 minutes.

While the pitas are toasting up, start the burgers: combine ground lamb with yogurt, chopped parsley, garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, grill seasoning and cinnamon. Score the meat in four equal portions, then form four 1-inch thick patties.

Pre-heat a large nonstick skillet with a liberal drizzle of EVOO in it until it ripples. Add the patties and cook for 5 minutes on each side.

While the burgers cook, combine remaining parsley leaves, cucumber, bell pepper, celery, red onion, tomatoes, feta, olives and the pepperoncini in a bowl for the salad. Squeeze the lemons and pour about 3 tablespoons of EVOO over them, then season with some salt and pepper and toss to coat. Add the toasted torn pita breads and toss again. Let sit while the burgers finish cooking. Taste to adjust seasonings.

Top mounds of the fattoush salad with the lamb patties and serve.

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