Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cumin Scented Lamb Burgers

Enjoy summer's bounty at this Sunday's Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market. You can look forward to the following from Sweetwater Farm and Fair Valley Farm:
  • blueberries, peaches and plums (bake a galette)
  • green beans, yellow wax beans, and romanos (make a salad, see below)
  • eggplants, zucchini, summer squash, and peppers (delicious grilled)
  • cucumbers (for tzatziki, see below)
  • potatoes including new potatoes, yellow yukon gold, red norland, and all blue
  • many colors of tomatoes (make gazpacho)
  • fennel and fresh herbs, including basil and parsley
  • cabbage and greens, including bietola (try this saag paneer salad)
  • carrots, beets, and radishes (try some sauteed radishes)
  • broccoli and cauliflower
  • onions and garlic
  • tomato sauce and pesto
  • pickles, kimchi, and sauerkraut
  • homemade jams
  • fresh eggs
  • Scottish oats (make some Swedish oatmeal pancakes)
  • a selection of dried beans and grains from Camas Country Mill
  • pastured chicken
  • pastured pork: bacon, ground pork, pork chops, shoulder roasts, ham roasts, spare ribs, and the best sausage for hash
  • pastured lamb: ground, stew meat, leg roast, rib chops, loin chops

When we made lamb burgers last week, using Fair Valley Farm's ground lamb, it finally felted like we had settled into summer. We had farm fresh cucumbers for a refreshing tziziki and a green bean salad, similar to one I served here, with almonds and dried apricotsThe meat was delicious and didn't need any augmentation, but I added in some ground cumin for a hind of Middle Eastern flavors and we ate it with a dollop of harissa on top of Eugene City Bakery's ciabatta. No need to shop anywhere but the corner of 19th and Agate for a delicious local feast.

Lamb Burgers

1 lb ground lamb
1 tsp ground cumin
~1/2 tsp salt and generous grinding of black pepper

With your hands, incorporate the spices into the meat but avoid over-mixing. Shape into four patties. Grill or cook in a hot skillet about 5 minutes per side until just cooked through. Serve with harissa and tziziki.

1 cucumber
1/2 cup yogurt (whole milk or Greek)
pinch of salt
~8 fresh mint leaves

Peel the cucumber and trim off the ends. Cut it lengthwise into quarters or sixths, then slice widthwise. Combine the cucumber chunks with the yogurt, salt, and torn fresh mint leaves. You could also use fresh cilantro or parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Green Bean Salad with Almonds and Dried Apricots
1/2 pound green beans
1/4 cup whole almonds
8 dried apricots
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Set a pot of salted water to boil. Trim the stems off the beans. Toast the almonds in a dry skillet until fragrant and then chop or break into pieces with a meat pounder. Chop the dried apricots.

2. When the water is boiling, cook them for about 4 minutes until they are bright green but still crisp enough so that they don't sag when you hold them horizontally. While the beans are cooking, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in your serving bowl. Drain the beans and toss them in the vinaigrette. Garnish with the almond and apricot pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature.

No comments: