Caroline Wright

This Merguez burger made with ground lamb is inspired by the flavors of Morocco.

Recipe: Merguez burgers with cucumber dressing

Published: Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2D
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2013 - 2:57 pm

Serves 4

Author Caroline Wright developed this burger with a difference, inspired by the flavors of Morocco. Merguez is a spicy North African sausage, usually made with lamb. She first tasted it while she studied cooking in France. From "Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute Meals" by Caroline Wright (Workman, 208 pages, $12.95)


For the burgers:

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 pound ground lamb

2 minced garlic cloves

1 tablespoon harissa paste (or 1 teaspoon chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon paprika)

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

For the cucumber dressing:

3 sliced Kirby or pickling cucumbers

1/4 cup Greek-style yogurt

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat a grill to medium-high heat or a grill pan over medium-high heat.

Place the fennel seeds, coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a mortar and crush with a pestle.

In a medium bowl, combine the spices with the ground lamb, garlic cloves, harissa paste, kosher salt and cayenne pepper.

Oil the grill grate or pan. Form the spiced meat into four 1 1/2-inch thick patties and grill, turning once, until charred and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium doneness.

While the burgers are cooking, combine the cucumbers, yogurt and red wine vinegar in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the burgers on rolls topped with the cucumber dressing.

Optional topping: tahini mixed with lemon juice, roasted red peppers and mint.

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