3-4 cloves fresh garlic, mashed
2 Japanese eggplants, sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 large red bell pepper and green bell pepper, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 large red onion and white onion, sliced 1/2-inch thick or cut into thick wedges
1/4 cup each chopped flat leaf parsley, fresh mint, and chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons each tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon each red pepper flakes, cumin, and paprika
Sea or Kosher salt, black pepper, and dash of allspice
4 slices Cheddar, Jack or Muenster cheese
4 brioche buns, split
2 tablespoons each balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh chopped rosemary
Choice of red or green leaf lettuce, Boston lettuce, romaine or arugula
Pre-heat outdoor grill for 10 minutes. Combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, and rosemary in a small bowl and set aside.
Place the eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers and onions on the grill and brush lightly with the balsamic vinegar mixture. After a few minutes, turn the vegetables to grill on both sides, brushing again with this mixture. When vegetables are done, remove from grill to a platter and keep warm.
In a bowl, combine the lamb with the garlic, parsley, mint, walnuts, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, red pepper flakes, paprika, salt, pepper and allspice (to taste). Form into four lamb burgers, depending on size desired. Grill and cook burgers for 5-10 minutes or until burgers are cooked on both sides to desired taste. Place choice of cheese on each burger and grill until cheese melts.
While burgers are cooking, brush brioche buns with a little olive oil (or melted butter) and grill on each side until there are grill marks.
To assemble, place brioche buns on a serving plate, top with a burger, some lettuce, and then stack with the grilled eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions; drizzle with balsamic vinegar or a little lemon juice to taste, and serve with Tomato Mint Parsley Salad.
Tomato Mint Parsley Salad
3-4 ripe medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup canned garbanzo beans, washed and drained
1/2 cup canned or cooked fresh green beans, cut into medium pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
Sea or Kosher salt, black pepper, olive oil, and the juice of one lemon
Fresh chopped basil, about 2 tablespoons
Combine salad ingredients in a medium bowl, toss a few times, check seasonings, and serve. Salad may be made a day ahead of time. Add more lemon juice or olive oil, if desired.
*To see more of Christine’s recipes, go to:
Christine Vartanian Datian is a native of Fresno, California and lives in Las Vegas. She is a graduate of Fresno High School and California State University, Fresno (CSUF), and holds a Master of Arts Degree (MA) in Mass Communications. She has been published in Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines.