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Dinner Tonight! | QUICK FIX

Baa Baa Burgers

March 29, 2000|KATHY GUNST | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

This menu of lamb burgers is sophisticated enough for a dinner party and easy enough for a weeknight dinner. You can cook the burgers on a charcoal or gas grill, but they come out particularly well over a wood fire. You can also pan-fry them over high heat for a crusty, beautifully seared burger.

Serve the burgers with a simple yogurt sauce and spinach sauteed in olive oil with lots of garlic. Add a side of warm pita bread, and you've got the makings of a Greek festival.

Menu

Greek Lamb Burgers With Feta

Yogurt-Green Onion-Mint Sauce

Sauteed Spinach With Garlic

Warm Pita Bread

Greek Lamb Burgers With Feta

Active Work Time: 10 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 25 minutes * Easy

1 pound ground lamb

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup chopped pine nuts, toasted

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

1 teaspoon olive oil, optional

* Combine lamb, salt and pepper to taste, pine nuts, mint and feta, making sure cheese and nuts are fully incorporated into meat. Form mixture into 4 patties.

* Grill burgers over medium-high heat until cooked through and crusty brown on outside, about 6 minutes per side. Alternately, heat heavy cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and cook burgers.

4 servings. Each serving: 310 calories; 202 mg sodium; 68 mg cholesterol; 26 grams fat; 2 grams carbohydrates; 17 grams protein; 0.08 gram fiber.

Yogurt-Green Onion-Mint Sauce

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Fresh mint is crucial for this sauce. Make it at least 30 minutes to several hours before serving.

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

2 green onions, very thinly sliced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

* Mix yogurt, onions, mint and salt and pepper to taste in bowl. Adjust seasoning. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

4 servings. Each serving: 26 calories; 114 mg sodium; 1 mg cholesterol; 0 fat; 3 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 0.03 gram fiber.

Sauteed Spinach With Garlic

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 5 minutes * Vegetarian

The trick with this simple spinach dish is to have the pan very hot and work quickly.

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound baby or regular spinach, stemmed

Coarse salt

* Heat oil over medium-high heat in large heavy skillet. Add garlic and cook, stirring, about 10 seconds. Add spinach in batches, adding more as spinach softens and cooks down. Cook, stirring constantly, until wilted and just cooked, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt to taste and serve hot.

4 servings. Each serving: 57 calories; 680 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 4 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 1.03 gram fiber.

Game Plan

30 minutes before: Heat charcoal or wood fire. Mix ingredients for burgers; clean spinach; chop garlic.

20 minutes before: Assemble yogurt sauce.

15 minutes before: Grill burgers.

5 minutes before: Cook spinach.

Just before serving: Heat pita bread in warm oven.

Ingredients

Shopping List

Feta cheese

Fresh mint

Ground lamb

Pine nuts

Green onions

Pita bread

Fresh spinach

Staples

Garlic

Olive oil

Plain yogurt

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