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Rock the Casbah Lamb Burger

I really love the unique combinations of fruits (figs and dates) and spices (turmeric, coriander, allspice, etc.) that predominate in the cuisine of Morocco. Their particular brand of sweet tastes and exotic spices is something you don’t find in many cuisines. So, I thought it would be a really tasty idea to create a Moroccan-spiced lamb burger topped with a unique Casbah Slaw served on an onion roll smeared with a North African Goat Cheese that is infused with fruits native to the region. Once your taste buds try it, you will be instantly transported to Morocco. Feel free to yell “ROCK THE CASBAH!!”


1/2 pound goat cheese, crumbled
3 dried figs, chopped
3 seeded dates, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
3/4 cup English cucumbers, julienned
3/4 cup tomatoes, julienned
1/3 cup shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
2 pounds ground lamb
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely ground almonds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 onion rolls, split


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make North African Goat Cheese, in the bowl of a food processor combine goat cheese, figs, dates, and garlic; process until well combined. Remove the mixture to a small bowl.

To make Casbah Slaw, in a medium mixing bowl combine jicama, tomatoes, pistachios, olive oil, lemon juice, and mint. Mix well to combine.

To make the patties, in a large bowl combine lamb, onion, almonds, turmeric, allspice, coriander, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the onion rolls.

Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, place onion rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of North African Goat Cheese on the cut sides of the onion rolls. On each roll bottom, place a patty and an equal amount of Casbah Slaw. Add the onion roll tops and serve.