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Grilled Mini Lamb Burgers with Cilantro-Mint Butter

Cilantro-Mint Butter

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 2/3 cups crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup minced kalamata olives
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • 12 mini pita breads, slit halfway open
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 head red-leaf lettuce, shredded


To make the cilantro-mint butter, in a small bowl, combine the softened butter, cilantro, mint, and garlic.  Set aside.

Prepare a hot fire in your grill.

Combine the lamb, 2/3 cup of the feta, the olives, and garlic in a large bowl and gently mix together until just blended.  Make 12 small patties about 1/2 inch thick.

Combine the cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Lightly brush the patties with olive oil on both sides.  Sprinkle with the cumin-coriander seasoning on both sides.  Wrap the pita breads in a heavy-duty aluminum foil packet.  Place the burgers and bread on a doubled baking sheet and carry out to the grill.

Put the pita on the indirect side of the grill and close the lid.  Let warm for about 5 minutes.

Grill the mini burgers over direct heat for about 3 minutes on one side, then turn and place a dollop of the butter on the browned side.  Grill an additional 3 minutes for medium-rare to medium.  The outside should be browned and the interior just barely pink.

Place a burger in each pita and garnish with more of the butter, the remaining feta, sliced red onion, and the lettuce.  Serve immediately.

Makes 12 mini burgers

Reprinted with permission from ©Karen Adler and Judith Fertig, BBQ Bash, published by The Harvard Common Press click for book review

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