Yes, it’s more stuff from the grill! As I have mentioned before, grilling is a new frontier for me. After many years of making my husband do all the grilling, I decided to get over my fear and learn to do it myself. It was getting to be a bit sad that there were certain recipes I wasn’t willing to try because they required grilling. Granted, I am just working on a gas grill and I am not dealing with “real fire” just yet but we all have to start somewhere. And now, I can bring you recipes like these tasty lamb burgers. The idea of grilling the lamb filling right in the pita is pure genius. The pita gets nice and crispy while the lamb filling stays perfectly juicy.
Although I was tempted to tweak the spices a little, my husband felt like the original recipe was perfect. Several commenters on the Bon Appétit site suggested adding feta to the filling which I might try the next time I make this. I could not follow the technique that Bon Appétit suggested for filling the pitas though since I could only find pitas that were already cut in half. My instructions in the recipe are based on the pitas I had. Whatever pitas you end up using, make sure they are fairly sturdy so they will hold up on the grill.
These lamb burgers are best fresh off the grill. Though the leftovers are still quite tasty, they won’t have the same crispiness. I have to confess that I actually grilled three pitas for this photo session. I may have ended up nibbling on one while taking pictures (so as not to waste a perfectly crisp-grilled pita).
- 1/2 medium onion, very finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 pounds ground lamb
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grilling
- 4 thick medium-sized pita breads with pockets, cut in half
- Mix together onion, parsley, ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add lamb and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mix together with a fork until herbs and spices are evenly mixed into the ground lamb. Cover and chill 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Prepare grill for medium heat. Be sure the grate is nice and clean.
- Carefully open each pita half being careful not to tear the sides. Spoon filling into each pita half, spreading to edges. Brush each pita with olive oil on both sides.
- Grill pitas until filling is cooked through and bread is crisp, about 5 minutes per side.
Filling can be made 8 hours ahead and kept chilled until ready to fill the pita breads. Pita breads can be stuffed 1 hour ahead; cover and chill. Brush on olive oil right before grilling.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit, July 2014.