Feta Lamb Burgers from Chef Nicholas Calias


Just in time for grilling season, Rochambeau‘s Nicholas Calias has a recipe that’ll take your next backyard barbeque up a notch. He puts a Mediterranean twist on the average cheeseburger by substituting lamb for beef and adding feta to the mix. Calias recommends topping the elevated patty with charred red peppers, spinach and a tangy lemon-cucumber yogurt to tie it all together for outdoor dining done chef-style. 


Servings: 2


For the lemon-cucumber yogurt:
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 3 ounces Greek yogurt
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • the zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the roasted pepper:
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons blend oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
For the burger:
  • 1 pound ground lamb, (13 ounces of meat and 3 ounces of fat-have your local butcher grind it)
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ounces feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 burger rolls
For the spinach:
  • 4 ounces baby spinach, washed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


For the lemon-cucumber yogurt:
  1. Peel, de-seed and chop the cucumber. Squeeze the cucumber in a cheese cloth to remove the juice. Mix the pulp with the remaining ingredients and chill for an hour (can be made a couple of days ahead).
For the roasted pepper:
  1. Rub the pepper with a small amount of  oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on all sides. The pepper will char and start to bubble. When you can feel the skin moving on all sides (about 3 minutes per side) remove and place in a bowl with a cover or place in a storage plastic bag to keep in heat and steam the pepper. After 5-6 minutes, remove the pepper and peel off the skin. Cut into strips and set aside.
For the burger:
  1. Pre-heat your grill and wipe it down with a little olive oil to season it. In a bowl, mix together the lamb, oregano and oil. Season with salt and pepper (be sure to go light on the salt since feta cheese is salty).
  2. With your hands, form the mixture into 8-ounce patties. Place 1 ounce of feta cheese in each patty, then roll into a ball and reshape, encasing the cheese in the middle of the burger.
  3. Season the burgers with salt and pepper on both sides and grill about 4-6 minutes on each side for medium rare, flipping once (do not press). Once cooked to the desired doneness, remove from the grill and allow the burgers to rest for 4-5 minutes. Heat your rolls on the grill and set aside.
For the spinach:
  1. Heat a sauté pan, add the oil and spinach. Cook for 1 minute, season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
To plate:
  1. To assemble the burgers, place the yogurt sauce on the bottom bun, top with the lamb burger, add the spinach, then add the peppers and finish with a little more yogurt sauce. Place the top bun on and enjoy.

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