It began with yet another email. Fans of Lamb, the promotional arm of the American Lamb Board, was offering to send me more lamb as part of a burger contest they are holding. (I don't have a video camera, so I won't be entering, but you can here!) I had just made tons of manti using ground lamb and was anxious to try other ways to use it.
For some reason, I couldn't get a Greek theme out of my head for these burgers. I really wanted to pair it with tzatziki, and my mind kept bringing up spanakopita too. Luckily, all those ingredients go very well together, and the spanakopita burger was born.
I'm very happy with these burgers. The lamb adds a different flavor than beef, but there are enough other ingredients that it never tastes gamey, like ground lamb sometimes can after a while. My friend found the amount of feta I used a little overwhelming, but I didn't agree - if you're not a big fan of feta, you can cut back on the amount. The addition of so much spinach and cheese is also a great way to stretch the meat a little bit further.
Spanakopita Lamb Burgers
1 lb ground lamb
1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3-4 ounces of feta, crumbled
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands until everything is well combined. Shape into 4 patties and refrigerate until ready to cook. Grill (or use an indoor panini press like we did) for 4-5 minutes per side. Serve on a bun of your choice with a large helping of tzatziki.
1 English cucumber (long cucumber wrapped in plastic)
2 cups Greek-style yogurt (I used fat-free, but use whatever you like)
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1/2 bunch dill, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper
Grate cucumber. Line a colander with paper towels and add cucumber. Sprinkle on some salt and let stand in the sink for 1-2 hours. Squeeze cucumber as dry as possible and add to a mixing bowl. Add yogurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and mix until well combined. Add more lemon and salt and pepper if needed. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before use to let the flavors meld.