Lamburgers in Pita with Lemon-Tahini Sauce

From The Modern Kosher Kitchen: More than 125 Inspired Recipes for a New Generation of Kosher Cooks by Ronnie Fein (Fair Winds Press) Yield:  4 sandwiches
Prep Time:  30 minutes Cook Time:  8 minutes

Lamburgers in Pita with Lemon-Tahini Sauce

“Our family was never much for ground lamburgers until we ate some with this tangy, lemony sauce, which goes so perfectly with the bold, rich meat taste. This is a good summer dish if you have an outdoor grill, but you can make them anytime using a grill pan and even a regular sauté pan.” —Ronnie Fein


For the Burgers:

1¼ to 1½ pounds (570 to 680 grams) ground lamb

½ cup (25 grams) fresh bread crumbs

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 large egg

3 tablespoons (11 grams) chopped fresh parsley

3 tablespoons (18 grams) chopped fresh mint

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Olive oil

4 medium pita pockets, warmed

Tomatoes, chopped, optional

For the Lemon-Tahini Sauce:

½ cup (120 grams) tahini

⅓ cup (80 milliliters) lemon juice

¼ cup (60 milliliters) water

2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Salt, to taste


Make the Lamburgers:

  1. Preheat an outdoor grill, oven broiler, or grill pan.
  2. Place the ground lamb, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, egg, parsley, mint, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon together in a bowl and mix gently to combine the ingredients thoroughly. Shape the mixture into 4 patties, 1-inch  thick.
  3. Brush the grill (or the pan) with a film of olive oil. Sear the burgers for 1 minute per side; then lower the heat to medium. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes per side or until cooked through.
  4. While the burgers are cooking, mix together the ingredients for the Lemon-Tahini Sauce.
  5. Place the burgers inside the pita pockets. Drizzle some Lemon-Tahini Sauce on top; add a few spoonfuls of chopped tomato, if desired.

Make the Lemon-Tahini Sauce:

  1. Stir the tahini to blend in any oil that has risen to the top. Mix the tahini and lemon juice together, blending ingredients thoroughly. Add the water, olive oil, garlic, and salt. Blend thoroughly.

Kitchen Tips

From the Test Kitchen:

  • Tahini, a staple in Middle Eastern cooking, is rich, nutty-tasting paste made from ground sesame seeds. It is available in Middle Eastern markets, well-stocked supermarkets, gourmet stores, and online.

Photo by Glenn Scott Photography

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