A week of traveling and travel food did me in. Or so you’d think. Do you know what I was craving the minute I returned stateside? A burger. A grilled, juicy burger that was messy as hell.
So, not even a day back home, and I got out the grill to cook up these bad boys.They’re lamb burgers with a Mediterranean slant — loaded with all sorts of spices and herbs then garnished with olive mayo, red onions, cucumbers, arugula, and crumbled feta. Ok, they’re not the most classic All-American burger but they’re tasty as can be. And, while they didn’t make up for missing the 4th they made for one very satisfying homecoming.
halved and toasted
sliced into 4 rings
For the mayonnaise: Place the mayonnaise and tapenade or olives in a medium bowl and mix to incorporate.
The mayonnaise can be made up to 2 days ahead; store refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to us.
For the burgers: Combine the lamb, oregano, garlic, coriander, cumin, salt, pepper, and egg in a large bowl and, using your clean hands, mix until just combined. Split the meat into 4 equal portions and shape each piece into a patty that is 1/2-inch-thick and roughly 1/2-inch wider than the burger buns.
Using your thumb, make a 1-inch-wide indentation in the center of each patty in order to help the burgers cook more evenly. Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium high (about 450°F to 550°F). When the grill is ready, use tongs to rub the grate with several layers of paper towels soaked in vegetable oil.
You can assemble the patties up to 4 hours in advance. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
Place the patties on the grill indentation-side up, close the grill, and cook, making sure you do not press down on the patties, until grill marks appear on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip each patty and cook with grill closed until the patties are firm to the touch, about 3 more minutes. Remove to a clean plate and let rest in a warm place for a few minutes.
To assemble: Spread about 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise on each top and bottom bun (you may have some mayo leftover). Divide red onions and cucumber slices amongst burger roll bottoms, top with a patty, then garnish each with arugula and feta. Top with the bun and serve immediately.