by Amanda Mattos
Serious Eats posted a recipe yesterday for lamb falafel burgers, as part of their meat lite recipe series. And they sounded amazing. So naturally, I upped the recommended amount of meat, futzed with the recipe a bit, cut a few corners, and made a really great and relatively simple weeknight dinner. Spencer, Kriston and I collectively recommend that you play Lil Wayne really loud and dance around the kitchen as you assemble dinner. Makes it all taste better.
I didn’t set out to cut any corners — I actually did plan on making my falafel from scratch. But Harris Teeter didn’t have any bulger wheat (and I mean, really, that’s ok), so I opted for pre-made falafel mix, doctored up quite a bit. If you’d like to be more true to your meal, the Serious Eats recipe outlines the steps — it’s pretty simple.
Preheat the oven to 375.
To give the patties more kick than the falafel alone would, I chucked the following into the food processor:
-A handful of cilantro
-A serrano pepper, seeded
-5 cloves garlic
-Juice of 1 lemon
-1 large shallot (use 2 if they’re small)
-1 or 2 green onions
Most falafel mixes (including the one I used) work on a “just add water” system. So, add water. Then mix up the goods from the food pro with the falafel mix. THEN, push up your sleeves and incorporate the lamb with it all. (We used two 16 oz. packages.) Make patties (we decided that going for smaller patties works best for this dish).
In a very very hot, oiled skillet, cook each patty about a minute per side. Finish them in the preheated oven, about 5 minutes.
Instead of the pita Serious Eats recommended, I opted for a rosemary loaf, sliced thin and toasted. I melted feta on one slice per-burger. Note: feta takes longer to melt than most cheeses, so you might want to start this process before you put your burgers in. The other slice will get slathered with some hummus before you assemble these delicious little sandwiches.
I also decided that cucumbers weren’t quite enough on the toppings front. So I made a little salad — spring greens mix, a handful of torn up purple basil, diced tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion, dressed lightly in olive oil, salt and lemon juice.
The burgers were a little difficult to eat — Becks had the brilliant idea to slice her burger in half to flatten it out and spread it more evenly over the bread. But the assembled fence-worshipers all gave nom-laden approval, despite being a little messy. Easy and tasty, and highly recommended.