Dinner for Two: Greek Lamb Burger with Chunky Mint Tzatziki
The best vacation Mr. English and I ever took was to the Greek islands. In terms of a culinary adventure, no other trip has ever matched it. The gigantes beans baked with tomatoes. Those deep-fried Greek salad fritters (that's my name for them). The olives. The baklava. The walnuts and yogurt. The sea bream, every night. The pomegranates. The octopus, and urchin, and ouzo. I was never not hungry on those islands. Because this column is about what Mr. English and I really eat in our little menage à deux, I take inspiration from what we really love and want. And that was a little reverie back to swimming in the clear Grecian waters.
Start with some ground lamb from the supermarket, and grate in a few cloves of garlic, and add some chopped fresh chives and oregano. Form the meat into two patties, drizzle with olive oil, and park on a hot grill or sauté pan for four to five minutes on each side.
Meanwhile, make the tzatziki. Tzatziki is a Greek dip usually made from yogurt, garlic, and grated cucumber. But maybe we can do better than that? Because the burgers are already so garlicky, I actually omit it here. Instead, chop cucumber into chunky half moons, add some more of the chives and oregano we used in the burgers, and finish it with whole mint leaves. Add a small container of Greek yogurt, and an optional squirt of lemon and you have the most refreshing condiment for your burger.
Finally, a tip for heating pita bread. Take some parchment paper and run it under the tap. Crumple it up, and wring it out. Seal the pita into the damp parchment as well as you can, and place in a hot over for five or six minutes. The steam from the parchment softens the bread while it warms, so you can easily stuff the pita with the hot, tender burgers, and the cool, fresh, crisp tzatziki.
About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way.