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Lamb Burgers with Whipped Feta and Pickled Fennel

lamb burger with a bottle of wine and wine glass


4 oz. feta, packed in brine
5 T. Greek yogurt
1 ½ T. olive oil

½ bulb fennel, sliced thin
¼ red onion, sliced thin
½ c. white wine vinegar
¼ c. sugar
½ c. water
1 T. kosher salt
1 strip lemon peel
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. black peppercorns

1 ¾ lbs. ground lamb
3 T. fresh oregano, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

6 potato buns
1 oz. arugula
1 ripe tomato, sliced thin


To make the whipped feta, crumble the feta into the work bowl of a food processor. Add the yogurt and olive oil and pulse until light and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times to process evenly.

To make the pickled fennel, place the sliced fennel and red onion in a small stainless steel bowl. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and seasoning in small saucepan. Bring to a boil and pour over the fennel. Allow to cool before serving or refrigerate.

Heat a grill over high heat. Combine ground lamb, oregano, garlic and salt and pepper. Mix by hand to evenly distribute the ingredients. Portion into 6 balls. Flatten into patties slightly larger than the bun. Grill over high heat for 4-5 minutes per side for medium or to desired doneness. Remove from the grill. Cut the buns in half, spread the feta on the bottom bun, top with a little arugula, a slice or two of tomato, some of the pickled fennel and onions, the lamb patty and a small spoonful of the feta. Place the top bun on top and secure with a toothpick.

Serve with a glass of Cakebread Cellars Rubaiyat.