RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Zorba the Burger

My wife and I fell in love with the flavors of Greece on our honeymoon. I tried to capture the flavors in this burger. The character in Zorba the Greek had such a reverence for food that the title seemed to be a natural.


1/2 cup pine nuts, chopped fine
2 tablespoons lemon zest
3 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2/3 cup finely chopped white onion
4 tablespoons minced garlic
2/3 cup finely chopped mint
2 pound ground lamb
6 ounces feta cheese crumbled
1 large egg
1 16 ounce can chick peas drained
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (preferably Greek)
6 Kaiser rolls split
Oil for grill


In large work bowl, combine pine nuts, lemon zest, salt, pepper, cumin, onion, garlic, mint, meat, cheese and egg. Mix well. Divide into 6 equal portions and form into patties. Place in refrigerator for at least one hour to firm up. In food processor equipped with metal blade, combine drained chick peas and garlic. Process in pulses until coarsely chopped. Add lemon juice and olive oil. Process until mixture is smooth. Cover and set aside. Toast rolls lightly on grill set to medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low. Oil grill grates well. Place patties on the grill. Cook for 4 minutes. Carefully turn patties over. Cook for another 2 minutes or until patties are done to your liking (I prefer 150 degrees on an instant read thermometer). Remove patties and cover lightly with foil. Place patties on the bottoms of the rolls. Divide the chick pea mixture among the patties and spread evenly. Top with the tops of the rolls and enjoy.


Try to make sure your ground lamb has enough fat in it. Too lean and the burger will be dry.