Grilled Lamb Burgers over Lentils with Minty Yogurt Sauce

Grilled Lamb Burger served over a bed of Lentils and draped with Minty Yogurt Sauce (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

It’s summertime and you’re probably wondering what to do with that abundance of herbs in your garden. If you’ve grown mint in your garden, you know that it can be very prolific to the point that it’s invasive. For an abundance of mint, here’s a delicious summery recipe that also incorporates your outdoor grill. My Grilled Lamb Burgers over Lentils with Minty Yogurt Sauce is a hearty but also light summer dish that your family will love!

Grilled Lamb Burger served over a bed of Lentils and draped with Minty Yogurt Sauce (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Grilled Lamb Burger served over a bed of Lentils and draped with Minty Yogurt Sauce (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

If you aren’t a fan of ground lamb, you can substitute ground pork or veal. But I prefer the richer taste of the lamb with my minty yogurt sauce that also features a touch of garlic and lemon.

Gorgeous pineapple mint from my garden (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Gorgeous pineapple mint from my garden (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

I like to grill the lamb burgers outside on my outdoor grill. There’s something about grilling lamb inside my kitchen that creates a rich strong odor for days, even using my professional range hood’s fan to pull the exhaust outside. But don’t let that sway you away from trying this wonderful dish. Just grill your burgers outside and leave the smell out there!

I start by cutting the mint leaves into a nice chiffonade (thin strips).

Cut the mint into chiffonade -- basically thin slices  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Cut the mint into chiffonade — basically thin slices (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Combine the mint with plain yogurt, lemon juice and minced garlic.

Stir together the plain yogurt, mint, lemon juice, and minced garlic for a lovely minty yogurt sauce  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Stir together the plain yogurt, mint, lemon juice, and minced garlic for a lovely minty yogurt sauce (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Select your favorite lentils. You can use a blend of lentils or just one kind. Be sure to pick them over and remove any tiny stones or other debris before you cook them.

Start with a good brand of organic lentils  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Start with a good brand of organic lentils (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Simmer the lentils with some good chicken broth/stock.

Simmer the lentils in chicken stock/broth and water until they are tender  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Simmer the lentils in chicken stock/broth and water until they are tender (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Mix together ground lamb, some chopped parsley, and minced sweet onion. Form patties.

Form the lamb burger mixture into patties  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Form the lamb burger mixture into patties (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Grill your lamb burgers until they are done to your liking. Usually 7 – 8 minutes total for medium burgers.

Lamb burger on the grill  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Lamb burger on the grill (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Lamb burgers fresh from the grill!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Lamb burgers fresh from the grill! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Divide the lentils into two bowls. Top each bowl of lentils with a grilled lamb burger.

Place the grilled lamb burger over the bed of lentils (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Place the grilled lamb burger over the bed of lentils (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Top the lamb burgers with the minty yogurt sauce.

Grilled Lamb Burger over Lentils with Minty Yogurt Sauce and garnished with Mint Chiffonade (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Grilled Lamb Burger over Lentils with Minty Yogurt Sauce and garnished with Mint Chiffonade (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Grilled Lamb Burger and Minty Yogurt Sauce over Lentils with a Mint Leaf Garnish (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Grilled Lamb Burger and Minty Yogurt Sauce over Lentils with a Mint Leaf Garnish (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

My husband and I prefer to enjoy these burgers over a bed of lentils with the minty yogurt sauce draped over the tops of the burgers. You can also try these burgers on grilled buns as an alternative to the bed of lentils — add the minty yogurt sauce and enjoy!

Due to the wide availability of herbs such as mint in our local grocery stores year-round, you can also make this summery dish in the wintertime! Or, you can cut, wash, and dry your mint to use in winter dishes.

Here’s a nice article from the Washington Post on what to do with an abundance of herbs from your garden: Herb dilemmas solved, by the bunch.

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Lamb Burgers with Minty Yogurt Sauce over Lentils

Ingredients:

1 c plain yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c fresh mint, chopped
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 lb ground lamb
1/2 c sweet onion, minced
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

1 can (14 oz) chicken stock/broth
1 c water
2 c lentils
Pinch of salt

Parsley or mint sprigs for garnish

Method:

1. Whisk together the yogurt, garlic, mint, and lemon juice. Set aside.
2. Prepare your outdoor grill or heat a grill pan to medium heat on your range. (I recommend cooking the lamb burgers outside as they can have a strong lingering odor in your kitchen.)
3. With your hands, carefully combine the ground lamb, onion, parsley, salt and pepper until uniformly mixed — but not overmixed which can make your burgers mushy. Form the meat into two patties. Sprinkle the burgers on each side with a bit more salt. Set aside.
4. Combine the chicken stock, water, and lentils in a chef’s pan. Cook the lentils over medium heat until the lentils have softened and the liquid is mostly absorbed. Season with a pinch of salt. You may need to add additional liquid during the cooking time.
5. Grill the lamb burgers over medium heat to your liking. Turn once or twice to create lovely grill marks on the burgers. I prefer my burgers medium rare, however, you may prefer a more well-done lamb burger. Usually a total of 7 – 8 minutes on the grill will give you a medium burger.
6. When the burgers are done, remove them from the grill and keep warm.
7. When the lentils are done, ladle them into two dinner-size shallow serving bowls.
8. Place a grilled lamb burger on top of the lentils in each bowl.
9. Drizzle some minty yogurt sauce over the burgers.
10. Garnish each with a mint sprig and serve!

Serves 2. Offer a cool cucumber salad on the side, or perhaps some hummus and pita bread.

Variations: Substitute ground veal or pork, or a blend of those meats, if you are not a fan of lamb. (I don’t think ground beef works as well with the mint sauce, but you can try it.) If using thicker Greek yogurt, use some water to thin the minty yogurt sauce. Add some allspice or cinnamon to the lamb burgers for a slightly different flavor. You can cook and cool the onions prior to adding to the ground lamb if you prefer a more caramelized onion taste. Skip the lentils and serve the burgers on toasted buns with sliced ripe tomato and the minty yogurt sauce.

Grilled Lamb Burger over Lentils with Minty Yogurt Sauce (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Grilled Lamb Burger over Lentils with Minty Yogurt Sauce (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2013)

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