Lamb Burgers with Mint-Pistachio Pesto

Well, the boy is safely ensconced in the hallowed halls of Kent State University.  If he can avoid the National Guard, he should be okay. 😛

I finally got an opportunity to cook something worth posting yesterday at lunch.  I’d taken a pound of ground lamb from our recent purchase out of the freezer a couple of days ago, but hadn’t had a chance to make it (and was unsure exactly what to do with it).  Worried that it was going to go bad if I didn’t use it soon, I decided I’d make some burgers for lunch before driving The Young One out to Kent, which is about 45 minutes from where we live.

The idea of burgers just seemed kind of, well, plain, and I began looking around for things I had that might make a good sauce or condiment for them.  Mint is traditional with lamb, and we grow three different kinds in our herb garden, so I went and picked some plain peppermint (we also grow spearmint and chocolate mint).  While I was there, I noticed the parsley and cut some of that, as well.

Back in the kitchen, I had some roasted pistachios; I grabbed them and began shelling a few.  There was a bottle of olive oil on the counter, as well as a lemon and more garlic, and before I knew it all of the ingredients were in the food processor.

The resulting pesto was surprisingly delicious and was the perfect complement for the lamb burgers.    As lunches go, it was quick, easy, unusual and simply scrumptious – Beloved and I scarfed them down with some fresh cherry tomatoes from our garden, a good helping of Fermented Peach Chutney and some lacto-fermented pickles (recipe coming as soon as I can make them again; they are so incredibly good that by the time I thought to take a photo, they were more than half gone).

Note:  There’s no cheese in the pesto, but if you’d like to add some, a tablespoon or so of a good quality hard Italian cheese would probably be quite nice in it.

Lamb Burgers with Mint-Pistachio Pesto.  A riff on the classic pairing of mint and lamb, these burgers are quick, easy and delicious.

Click on the image to enlarge

Lamb Burgers with Mint-Pistachio Pesto
Serves: 4
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoons grated red onion
  • 1 large clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Pesto
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Gently combine all of the ingredients for the lamb burgers in a large mixing bowl. Form into 4 patties and cook over moderate heat until the internal temperature reaches about 145 F; the inside will still be slightly pink.
  2. While the burgers are cooking, put all of the ingredients for the pesto except the salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor or high-performance blender and pulse until the ingredients are well mixed. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve the burgers topped with the pesto.
  4. Nutrition (per serving): 441 calories, 36.9g total fat, 76mg cholesterol, 539.1mg sodium, 431.6mg potassium, 4.4g carbohydrates, 1.7g fiber, <1g sugar, 23.1g protein

7 thoughts on “Lamb Burgers with Mint-Pistachio Pesto”

  1. Silly boy, should’ve gone to Akron 😛 Lotsa luck to him! Anyway, will definitely have to make this recipe, sounds simple and delicious.

    1. Malarie – Akron was a little too close to home for him. And Kent had the best program for his major (digital media production).

      I hope you make the burgers; they are really, really good.

  2. How far away is his school from you?
    PR is having a very tough time at school due to some bad social stuff. It is KILLING me.
    When does parenting get easier??

  3. Mark Sisson has a very similar recipe in his Quick and Easy Meals cookbook (different flavoring in the lamb burger, but very similar pesto). We had this last night. It’s one of my favorites!

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