- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon lemon zest, preferably Meyer lemon (see Shopping Tip), divided
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, preferably Meyer lemon
- 1 teaspoon honey, preferably orange-blossom honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup unseasoned dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 pound lean ground lamb, preferably from the leg (see Note)
- 4 sandwich buns, preferably whole-wheat
- 4 cups mâche (lamb’s lettuce), or coarsely chopped butterhead lettuce
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- Whisk oil, 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, mustard, poppy seeds, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Combine breadcrumbs, chives, garlic, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Add lamb and gently knead until combined. Form into 4 patties.
- Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the patties; cook until there is just a hint of pink in the center, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, warm or toast buns, if desired. Add mâche (or lettuce) and mint to the bowl with the dressing; toss to coat. Place the lamb burgers on the buns and top with salad greens (a generous 3/4 cup each).
Tips & Notes
Tip: It can be difficult to find lean ground lamb, but it’s easy to grind your own. Choose a lean cut, such as leg or loin, trim any excess fat and cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Pulse in a food processor until uniformly ground, being careful not to overprocess. Or ask your butcher to grind a lean cut for you.
Shopping Tip: Look for Meyer lemons in late winter and early spring. Regular lemon works well as a substitute in this recipe.
Make Ahead tips: Refrigerate the dressing (Step 1) for up to 1 day. Cover and refrigerate the lamb mixture (Step 2) for up to 4 hours.