Spiced Lamb Burgers(sliders)… with yoghurt sauce and baby kale.

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Spiced Lamb Burgers(sliders)… with yoghurt sauce and baby kale. Lately I’ve been enjoying baby kale salads like never before. Love the baby kale. SO much better in salads than the big leafy kind.  When I first bought a bag some time ago, I bought it mainly to see how different it tastes… and well, for the vitamins too:). But I was pleasantly surprised. The baby variety was much milder than the adult version and so delicious. Plus I love how well it keeps in the fridge. Most salads wilt before the week is over, but with the baby kale, I’ve managed to go much longer than that. And I also like how well it does even when lightly dressed with vinegar and olive oil… stands up quite well without going too limp. I personally like to massage the kale ever so slightly with a bit of olive oil before I add the vinegar and seasoning… but I’ll only do that if I’m serving the salad right away, otherwise I won’t bother. Massaging the kale works perfectly with the adult kale. In any case, we’ve really been enjoying kale salad quite a bit lately… with all sorts of additions.
But one day I happened to look in my fridge… was sort of doing an inventory. Wanted to make lunch that day and realized I had defrosted a small bag of lamb meat. Wondering how I was going to use the meat, I kept looking in the fridge for ideas.  I had a bit of feta cheese and yoghurt in my deli drawer and thought to combine those ingredients together. Then I immediately thought of making mini burgers with a twist. 
I normally prefer traditional burger toppings, but this time I had no lettuce on hand, no pickles and no fresh tomatoes. But I did have kale, some dried tomatoes, olives and onion. I figured I’d make a couple of sauces to go with the burgers… going the middle-eastern route. And even as I was seasoning the lamb and making the sauces, I quickly realized I had no bread. Didn’t want to go buy any, so I used my tried and true version of rolls that I absolutely love… soft and pillowy.  Perfect for sliders. Yield is just right, as you’ll have a few rolls to freeze for another time.  
The meal came together  rather quickly, considering I made the rolls as well:). The burgers were just delicious with the kale salad and different sauces. I loved both sauces, but preferred the feta and olive version a tad bit more…. my husband liked both. So here’s a  different take on the classic hamburger. Hope you enjoy…       
Note: I added the egg to make the patties a bit softer, but if you are allergic to eggs, you can omit. Also, my meat was self-ground, so it could easily take an egg, but if you use store-bought, you may not need the egg. 

Tip: Feel free to use beef, turkey or a mix of meats instead of the lamb.

You will need:
Lamb burgers:
1 lb ground lamb
1/3 of a medium onion, grated
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
3/4 tsp hot smoky paprika(you could use sweet smoky paprika)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 egg
1 tsp dried mint
Kale salad: to taste
olive oil
apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper

1. Grind meat, or use store-bought. I used a leg of lamb. Grind onion, or grate. Add to meat.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Cover and allow to sit in the fridge for an hour or more. This helps the meat mixture firm up a bit and intensify in flavor.
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3. Form 9 patties (about 3 inch) and grease both sides with a bit of oil. The meat can be a bit soft, so be gentle. Place on a plastic wrapped plate or parchment-lined plate.
4. Preheat grill to med-high.
5. Cook patties 3-4 minutes on each side… or until cooked to preference. 
Make Kale Salad:
1. Simply add a bit of olive oil, massage the kale with your hands lightly until it softens a bit. Add some apple cider vinegar along with salt and pepper. This is all to taste…


1. Top bun with a handful of dressed kale, a lamb patty, and a dollop of yoghurt sauce.  Enjoy!

 Make sauces…  
Sundried Tomato Yoghurt Sauce

You will need:
6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fine( I used the dry w/out oil)
1/4 tsp onion powder
6-8 TBS Greek yoghurt
2 TBS mayonnaise
salt and pepper, as needed 

1. Combine all ingredients and allow to chill in fridge until ready to use. You may need to add a bit more yoghurt especially if you are using the dried tomatoes that are not packed in oil. The dried-only version tends to absorb the liquid from the yoghurt… makes the sauce thicker. So start out with 6 TBS yoghurt and adjust if needed.

Feta and Olive Yoghurt Sauce

You will need:
6 TBS Greek Yoghurt
2 TBS mayonnaise
3 TBS feta cheese, crumbled
2 TBS kalamata olives, chopped fine
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 TBS minced red onion
salt and pepper, as needed

1. Combine all ingredients, and chill in the fridge until ready to use.

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