Our local plant nursery has its big sale the week of the Fourth and looking forward to this sale all year, we save our pennies and our ideas about what we'd like to do to the yard. Inevitably, we come home with flowers and shrubs that need to get planted. I have a rule: no more than about a dozen plants. Not only is that about our budget, but you try busting holes in pure shale with a pickaxe some time. See if you aren't ready to quit somewhere long before a dozen!
Knowing that I was going to spend a lot of time busting rock in the morning on a potentially very hot and humid day, I planned dinner really carefully, doing the majority of work on Wednesday and planning something that could be executed in 15 minutes.
I asked Ann earlier in the week what she wanted for dinner on the Fourth and she replied "lamb burgers!" I was able to get a pound of ground local lamb from Merrymoon Farm and season it with lots of garlic, fresh oregano, feta, fresh dill, hot pepper flakes, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, a splash each of heavy cream and water, and a touch of pimentón. Little if any salt is necessary because of the feta cheese. I just love the crunch that the pine nuts add to the burgers.
Fluidity of the meat is something you have to get a feel for. It's not rocket science but it does take a little practice to feel it. This burger was particularly stiff, so I added a fair amount of oil, cream, and water. Your mileage will vary.
I also wanted some simple summer garnishes for the burgers, so I scored squash, black cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers at the farmers market.
|Grilled Squash, Tomato Salad, and Cucumber Salad|
The basic idea for the cucumber salad was to slice a cucumber and a little bit of red onion very thinly, then sprinkle them with a little bit of salt and sugar and let that extract the water from the vegetables. After a couple of hours of draining at room temperature, I added fresh dill, Greek yoghurt, a tiny bit of rice vinegar, and re-seasoned with salt and sugar. It couldn't be a simpler salad and I don't know a better condiment for a lamb burger.
|This is the Way a Burger Should be Cooked|
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