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Grilled Lamb Pita Sliders with Feta and Mint Pesto

Serves: Makes 24 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¾ cup chopped almonds, toasted
  • 1 large bunch parsley, washed and dried, stems removed
  • 2 small bunches mint, washed and dried, stems removed
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, as needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing grill grates
  • 2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 12 pita rounds (to be halved)
  • 1 pound feta cheese, crumbled


Procedures:

Give your sliders a Mediterranean twist by mixing ground lamb into sirloin, adding Greek spices to the blend and serving in pita bread. The mint pesto will keep in the refrigerator for 2 days. To store, pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top, and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface before placing the lid on the container.

To prepare pesto, place garlic, almonds, parsley and mint in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse to a rough chop. Add olive oil in a steady stream and process to a smooth paste. Stop motor and add cheese and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, stirring by hand to combine. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice as needed.

To prepare burgers, prepare a moderate charcoal fire, preheat a gas grill to medium, or heat a large grill pan over medium heat. Brush grill grates or grill pan with a thin coating of vegetable oil using a silicone pastry brush.

Place ground meats and dried spices in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, mix gently until well combined. Shape meat mixture into 24 (1-inch thick) patties, about 2 ounces each. Sprinkle patties generously on both sides with salt and pepper.

Toast pita rounds, then cut in half. Keep toasted pita warm in oven until ready to serve.

Place patties on preheated grill and cook until well browned on bottom and almost halfway cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip burgers and grill on second side until cooked to desired doneness, about 3 minutes longer for medium-rare.

Transfer toasted pita to work surface and place burgers inside pita halves. Drizzle pesto over burger, and top with crumbled feta cheese. Serve immediately.

Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen

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