Welcome to Esther's Blog

Welcome to Esther's Blog

The World According to Esther

Spring Grilling! Lamb Burgers with Mint Pistachio Pesto

One of the hardest things about winter is the lack of fresh herbs.. and the cold days.. and endless grey.. and the cold nights.. OH whatever, It was a hard winter, and I’m so excited the sun is warm and it’s grilling season!!  This is one of our favorites!

In our house grilling season actually is year round. We love our gas grill for slow even cooking over a long period, or that quick winter fix..  But the warm weather allows us to pull out our kettle and light the charcoal.  This recipe is one of my favorites when we’re lighting up.   These burgers can be cooked on gas, but the flavor of the charcoal grill is just irreplaceable, so I do recommend the extra time if you have it.

I pretty much stick to the recipe  as written..  If you find lamb to gamey, you can split the meat 50/50 lamb/beef, however I do find that the bold spices used balance out the flavor of the lamb nicely and most don’t need to do a mix of meat. She talks about a Mediterranean spice mix- I use a shake of Cinnamon, a couple shakes of rosemary and more than a couple shakes of cumin and coriander.  I admit I’m a total spice junkie and our spices and strong and fresh. I get mine at The Spice House– the original local business of the Penzy family.  We get our meat from our friends farm. If you have a place for local meat, I highly recommend the extra cost. I have found the flavor of the meat to be so much better and it’s so much fresher when it’s local. There is also something wonderful about knowing where your food comes from.
Try to grab fresh dill and mint, as well as fresh garlic and shallots.  Dried herbs can be substituted in the sauce, but for the pesto, the fresher the mint, the more flavor.  I do add a dash of roasted garlic powder to the yogurt sauce.  I also just cut a half a lemon and squeeze a bit.. mix.. taste.. squeeze a bit more..  It’s the same with the dill,and other spices.
For the Pesto.. I pulse the garlic and a quarter cup of pistachio nuts, then I add a cup of mint leaves and pulse again.  Finally I add a good drizzle of olive oil and a handful of feta crumbles and another pulse or two. You want the consistency of a chunky paste.

This is one of my favorites! So happy to be able to spend some time outside and enjoy it! At least before the Southern Heat moves in!!  What are your favorite warm weather recopies?