Lamb Burger Sliders with Beetroot Relish and Tzadziki

The burger – be it White Castle or Farmer’s Market Veggie-Grain – could be the most telling testimonial, the most apt memoir of the 20th and early 21st century American palate.  Little sis “Slider” drills into this hypothesis.

The Slider, especially, is suited to our national temperament and accommodates our multitasking lifestyle. It’s easily held in one hand while the other hand performs a variety of tasks. Be it holding a brew, tapping a screen, or guiding your steering wheel through traffic, The Slider understands the American temperment.

Rachel Ray, our own Slider Queen Miss USA, and her battalion of food marketing gurus must agree. About this time every year, and then again in Superbowl season, Sliders pelt us like BB’s. Why not? When properly executed, they’re delish.


My new obsession are Lamb Sliders – been fine-tuning the following recipe through the summer. For mass appeal, I cut the gaminess of lamb by mixing with a bit of beef. The sweetness of the beetroot relish is the perfect foil for the garlicky, dill creaminess of the yogurt sauce. At first try I was messing up a pan by sautéing the onions and beets. No need. Grated raw beets soaked into the vinegar are a lovely texture.

A word about the bread. Back in the day I turned my nose up to Hawaiian rolls, those pillow-puff sweet buns. I’d choose a crusty artisan bun or roll everytime. But the Hawaiian rolls are quite wonderful as a slider encasement. Save the artisan for everything else. My soon-to be  daughter in law, Lucy Carnaghi, recently opened a diner  – Rose’s Find Foods – with her cousin Molly in Detroit. All of their breads are scratch made, including the  soft, subtly sweet, mashed potato dough bread. I’d like to see them, or some scratch-made similar, available in my local groceries.

Other great  slider recipes, and burgers  that can be adapted to sliders: Sliders with Pimento Cheese, My Favorite Turkey Burger, Bacon-Jam Burger, Black Bean Burgers, Caprese Pesto Burgers, Blue Cheese Burgers.

Note: The Beetroot Relish and Tzadziki may be made several days in advance.

Recipe: Lamb Burger Sliders


  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 pound of ground beef (chuck makes the juiciest burger)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2-1 cup chopped mint
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground cardamom, optional
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 16, 2-inch slider rolls
  • 1 recipe for beetroot relish (see below)
  • 1 recipe for tzadziki (see below)


  1. Gently knead the lamb, beef, garlic, mint, cardamom (if using), salt and pepper together. (Cook a small bit of the batch, taste, and adjust seasonings to palate.) Divide and form into 16 patties. Oil grill grates, and heat gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat. Grill the burgers for 3 minutes. Cook for 3-5 minutes longer for medium-rare burgers, or until desired level of doneness. Grill the buns until lightly toasted, if desired.
  2. Spread one side of bun with relish and the other side with tzadziki. (Recipes follow.) Place burgers in buns and serve.

Cooking time: 35 minutes, if tzadziki and relish have been made in advance.

Number of servings (yield): 16 sliders

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

Recipe: Beetroot Relish


  • 3-4 medium-sized red beets
  • 1/2 medium-sized red onion
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


  1. Wearing plastic gloves, trim greens* and both ends, peel and grate. (You should have about 2-plus packed cups of grated beets). Remove outer skin of onion. With a box grater, grate beets and onion.
  2. Whisk together oil, vinegar and sugar. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir grated beets and onion into vinaigrette. (May be made several days in advance.)

*Sauté washed greens in olive oil with a bit of garlic for a savory side dish. Or top over crostini or bruschetta sprinkled with crumbled goat cheese.

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

Recipe: Tzadziki


  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, cut lengthwise, seeded, then cut into small (1/4-inch) dice (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs (dill or mint, or combination of both)
  • 1 scant teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup plain, strained, Greek-styled yogurt (I use Fage 2 percent)


  1. Place diced cucumbers on paper towels or in a fine mesh sieve; lightly sprinkle with kosher salt. Let drain 15-30 minutes, pressing into towels or sieve with spoon to release excess moisture.
  2. To make the tzadziki, combine cucumbers with herbs, garlic and yogurt; season to taste with kosher salt, if needed, and freshly ground pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use. (Leftover Tzadziki makes a wonderful vegetable dip as well as accompaniment to lamb, swordfish and poultry.)

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.



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