OPEN-FACED LAMB BURGERS WITH MINT YOGURT SAUCE (for four)
1 cup yogurt (before spooning yogurt out of carton, pour off any liquid on top. If you use a particularly thick yogurt, you may need to thin the sauce with a little water)
1 cup loosely packed whole fresh mint leaves plus 2 tablespoons minced
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon garam masala
1 garlic clove, halved lengthwise
1 small cucumber, seeded and finely grated
1-1/2 pounds ground lamb (not lean)
1/3 cup fresh parsley
¼ cup minced onion
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
four ½-inch-thick slices country-style bread (from a crusty round loaf, preferably 6 inches in diameter)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces mesclun (3 cups)
1. Prepare the grill for cooking. While the grill heats, whisk together the yogurt, minced mint, lemon juice, sugar, garam masala and salt to taste. Mince 1 half of garlic clove and whisk into yogurt sauce along with the grated cucumber.
2. Mix lamb, parsley, onion, salt, pepper and allspice with your hands in a bowl until just combined (do not overwork mixture or patties will be tough). Form into four 4-1/2 inch patties ½ inch thick.
3. Brush both sides of bread slices with 2 tablespoons oil (total for all slices) and grill, covered only if using a gas grill, turning over once, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes total (or, if you’re cooking indoors, you can do them in a toaster). Rub 1 side of each toast with the cut side of the remaining garlic and season with salt.
4. Grill patties on lightly oiled grill rack, covered only if using a gas grill, turning over once, until browned but still slightly pink in center, 5 to 7 minutes total.
5. Toss together mesclun, whole mint leaves, remaining teaspoon oil and salt and pepper to taste. Divide lamb among toasts on plates, then spoon sauce over and top with greens.
adapted from Gourmet Magazine, July, 2003