A symphony of herbs—in the form of za'atar—and little bits of toasted pine nuts add bright flavor and texture to the ground lamb patties that accompany this fresh summer salad.

June 2022


Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Recipe Summary

35 mins


Lamb Patties


Make the sauce:
  • Whisk together yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in a medium bowl until combined; set aside.

Make the lamb patties:
  • Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Place lamb in a large bowl. Add pine nuts, za'atar, salt, garlic, and pepper; mix with your hands until well combined. Divide mixture evenly into 8 (31/2-ounce) portions; shape each portion into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Arrange patties on oiled grates; grill, covered, until well marked and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of meat registers 125°F, 3 to 4 minutes per side, brushing patties evenly with pomegranate molasses during final 1 to 2 minutes of grill time. Transfer cooked patties to a large platter.

Make the salad:
  • Toss together lettuce, cucumbers, and onion in a medium bowl until combined. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice, and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss gently to coat. Serve salad with lamb patties and sauce.

Make Ahead

 Sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days.


To toast pine nuts: Spread pine nuts on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake at 300°F for 13 to 15 minutes, stirring or shaking pan occasionally.

Suggested Pairing

Spicy Mediterranean red: 2017 Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva.