lamb patties with spring greens and mint salad

March 22, 2014  |  Main Course
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Patties is the theme of this months Recipe Redux. For the occasion I am sharing a lamb patty recipe with lemony spring greens and mint salad that is inspired by a recipe I did for EatingWell in 2010. I also have a few things to say about blogging and being a carnivore.

Lamb Patties with Lemony Spring Greens

I wasn’t going to tell you this little story, but I had an interesting day on Tuesday, so I decided to tell it to you. The story has to do with lamb. And what happened on Tuesday has nothing to do with lamb.


A rant about getting ahead

On Tuesday I was talking to a blogging friend about how frustrated we both feel about how seemingly impossible it is for us to get far in the blogging world. Half jokingly I likened getting ahead in food blogging to playing the drinking game A$$hole. Pardon my French.


We both lamented that if we were willing to post recipes that had the potential to go viral, like say… Easy 3 Ingredient Doritos Jacked Ranch Dipped Hot Wing Crusted Chicken Fingers, then we’d be able to work our way up to secretary. But neither of us have any interest in Easy 3 Ingredient Doritos Jacked Ranch Dipped Hot Wing Crusted Chicken Fingers.


The fact is, that we actually eat the food we blog about, and both of us are healthy eaters.  Add to that, we both care about the environment and making sustainable choices. Blah blah blah. I am already putting myself to sleep in comparison to the sheer excitement of Easy 3 Ingredient Doritos Jacked Ranch Dipped Hot Wing Crusted Chicken Fingers. So our blogs don’t get the type of viral traffic we wish we did. Boo hoo, pity party.


Then after I got off the phone with her. I remembered that it was Tuesday and that the James Beard Award nominations were being announced that day. So I zipped over to see who got the nod this year.  One of the nominees for individual food blogs is Michael Procopio.  And I had never been on his site. Reading one solitary post of his about salad dressing mix, of all things, made me want to be a better blogger and forget all about viral posts and the Easy 3 Ingredient Doritos Jacked Ranch Dipped Hot Wing Crusted Chicken Fingers anything. I almost felt ashamed for having the aforementioned pity party. But I didn’t. Instead, I just felt inspired.


Inspired to create amazing quality content that would be worthy of some day getting the nod from the James Beard Foundation. I know you dear readers surely aren’t here for the Easy 3 Ingredient Doritos Jacked Ranch Dipped Hot Wing Crusted Chicken Fingers. And I am so glad to know that you aren’t. Blogging is a personal journey and I really feel like the more I focus on my own work, the more purely me my content is, the more good feedback I get. That’s why I decided to tell you this story. The one about the lamb that is.


It is not that the little story about the lamb is that great at all or James Beard worthy in the slightest or anything like that.


It is just that I was afraid to offend you. And I I don’t really plan to start. Not intentionally at least. But in reality, running a lamb recipe on my site will probably cause several un-subscribers. {That is if the mere mention of drinking games hasn’t already achieved that.}


It is not that I am in any position to loose readers, it is just that I would like to write a blog that I don’t want to fall asleep reading. You know what I mean? One that I would want to read myself, by golly! I guess what I am saying is that I don’t want to be so safe all the time. Some of my less safe posts are some of my very favorite. Like this one  or this one.


So now, unfortunately the lamb story is going to seem really really lame now that I have built it up like this. You’re probably thinking, good gracious what happened with the lamb?


Get ready to be disappointed.

Lamb Patties with Spring Greens and Mint Salad #paleo #gluten-free

I’d also like to preface the lamb story with this {as if I hadn’t already prefaced it with the food blogging rant.} I think I should be a hunter. And I think I am a total hypocrite for not being one. I believe that if we choose to eat meat, we should be willing to kill the meat ourselves. I think the planet and our bodies would be a lot healthier if we were all able to do that. I am totally in support of people who choose to go without meat for moral reasons. I would like to be like them. But I am weak. I eat meat and I don’t hunt because the idea of field dressing a warm carcass out in the woods terrifies me on a visceral level.

I do choose to know the farmers from whom we buy our meat and poultry. I go to the farmers market and chat with them. I buy in bulk. I ask questions in the meat market, and if I don’t like the answers, we eat meatless. In the spring and fall I visit the farm down the road where we buy the meat, and actually meet the animals that will soon be on our table. I’ve stepped in the plops in the field, and watched the mud coated pigs drink each-others urine (true story.) I have looked them in the (urine-drinking) eye. And I still choose to eat meat. I think of this as a baby step toward hunting. I will get there.


I would also like to defend myself by saying that I also try to eat meat in less amounts. The majority of my plate is filled with vegetables. Meat at most is a quarter of the plate. Most of the time it is more of a condiment. But occasionally I enjoy a big sexy steak.


So it makes me think twice when people tell me that they don’t eat lamb because it is a cute animal. But they will go ahead and eat beef or bacon. All animals are cute in some way even the urine drinking pigs down the road in some way. And if you are willing to eat any of them you should be willing to eat all of them. Or none. Get what I am saying? But I have already said I am a hypocrite, so I guess that is the pot calling the kettle black.


 The Little Story About Lamb

Anywhoo, that brings me to the lamb story. When my daughter was four, I bought a rack of lamb for like a million dollars and was standing at my cutting board trimming the fat cap and Frenching the bones. My daughter came up and peered over the side of the counter and asked what I was doing. I told her I was “Frenching this gorgeous rack of lamb.” And she said “Lamb? As in lambs the animal? Are we going to eat lamb? People shouldn’t eat lamb. They are soo cute.” He eyes were wide, and puppy doggish.


But I went about my business making the lamb. I carefully seared it in a skillet, then flipped it over, brushed it with Dijon mustard and then patted a mixture of coarse salt and mashed garlic and rosemary on it and then pan roasted it in the oven. To perfection. The house smelled of heaven. I poured Pinot Noir for Jase and me, and milk into sippy cups for the girls. When we sat down, I went ahead and put a chop on her plate. She saw it, smelled it. Took a careful bite. And another. And then said, “Lamb is good! People should eat all the lambs!” She proceeded to eat the entire chop, gnaw the bone and then steal the bones off of her father’s plate.


That is my girl. She will one day be a hunter. And I will go into the woods with her and field dress that animal she brings down. Or if she chooses to become a vegetarian for moral reasons, I will fully support her.Lamb Patty with Lemony Spring Greens and Mint

I know a fair amount of you probably don’t eat lamb. Some for the fact that it is on the gamey side of meat. That is totally legit, but personally I don’t have an issue with gamey meat. We eat grass-fed meat in our house and that means that the meat has a more strong flavor. I deal with it by adding tons of flavor. Lamb, especially the local pastured variety, is as strong as it gets. To balance that out, this garlic and herb and mint and lemon bomb of a combination will keep the lamb gaminess in check. Trust me. Or you can ask my daughter. She had seconds of this. Without hesitation.


Please be sure to scroll down below the recipe to see the other recipes in the Recipe Redux.


Link Love:

There really is such a thing in case you thought I was making that up.

More awesomness than I can handle from Andrew and Tyler on Grass Fed Beef.

This recipe just sings spring.

I am not sure if there is anything more perfect than magical egg yolk “sauce”

I made this potato and Andouille soup for dinner last week , and I was reminded of how darned delicious it is. I need to re-photograph it and share it again.

A well spoken truth about writers block and a beautiful chocolate peanut butter smoothie from Jennifer.

lamb patties with spring greens and mint salad

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 patties 8 cups salad

Serving Size: 1 patty 3 1/2 ounces each, 2 cups salad

lamb patties with spring greens and mint salad

Lamb Patties with fresh spring greens and mint salad with lemon poppyseed dressing. Gluten free, paleo and dairy free.


  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon zest, divided, preferably Meyer lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, preferably Meyer lemon
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey, preferably orange-blossom honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 pound lean ground lamb, preferably from the leg
  • 8 cups tender spring greens such as mache (lamb’s lettuce) uplands cress and butterhead lettuce
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives


  1. Whisk 1/4 teaspoon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, poppy seeds, honey, Dijon, 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste in a large bowl.
  2. Mash garlic and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with the side of a chefs knife, chives, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon zest, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Add lamb and gently knead until combined. Form into 4 patties. Coat a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Cook patties until there is just a hint of pink in the center, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil.
  3. Add greens and mint leaves to the dressing and toss to coat. Serve patties with the greens.


TO MAKE AHEAD: PATTIES CAN BE MADE AND REFRIGERATED 4 HOURS AHEAD. DRESSING CAN BE MADE 1 DAY IN ADVANCE. | This recipe is adapted from my own which I did for EatingWell in 2010. In the magazine, I did this recipe on a whole-grain bun. You can see it here.

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  1. Wow! This whole post could have come from me! Great minds minds think alike, right? I also struggle with getting ahead! It’s so frustrating that I’m always trying to catch up to get posts done and I’ve only had one week in 1 1/2 years that I’ve felt like I was ahead. I completely agree with everything you said about meat. I’m a huge animal lover but a equally huge carnivore. I do care about where my meat comes from and I just bought a chest freezer and bought an 1/8 of a cow from a White Oak Pastures where they care deeply about animal treatment and only raise grassfed beef. Great post, Katie and btw, one of my favorite posts of yours was your less safe ones about guacamole!
    Bill recently posted…Chicken with 40 Cloves of GarlicMy Profile

  2. I got so caught up with commenting on your post that I forgot to mention that these lamb patties look amazing!
    Bill recently posted…Chicken with 40 Cloves of GarlicMy Profile

  3. *Fist of Solidarity*

    1. I also feel my own blogging journey is pretty sisyphean. I focus on producing good content that is scientifically grounded and provides practical answers. But my fan base is dwarfed by people who focus on cute memes and whatnot (my own version of dorito dishes). I have no answers on this – just saying I totally feel you on that front.

    2. I love lamb! I’m sorry some of your readers aren’t OK with that but I totally am. Sweet Clover carries local ground lamb (usually in the frozen section) and I’ll totally make these. We also sometimes top lamb burgers with non-fat greek yogurt and fresh mint.

    Yum….tasty little lambs. Cute and flavorful ;P
    Alexis recently posted…Pediatrics Study on White Noise: Sounding Off on Sound MachinesMy Profile

    • Alexis,
      Thank you for commiserating! When I read Michael’s post it was great to be reminded about the real point of blogging to begin with. That erased a lot of the frustration. I agree there probably aren’t answers. It is good to have friends like you to complain to though when the frustration creeps in. LOl about the lambs… Literally out loud! You always make me laugh Alexis.
      Katie recently posted…curried couscous with roasted red pepper, peas and tofuMy Profile

  4. Thanks for summing it up for all of us! Do you know I’ve never had lamb? I must try this recipe 🙂
    Anne recently posted…Maple Miso Tofu with Broccoli and Soba NoodlesMy Profile

  5. Great recipe-so fresh and delicious! I will admit to being one of those people, not fond of lamb, but your recipe makes me want to try again :-)And really great post too-stick with your guns. Always!

  6. This. THIS. THIS!!! You are so awesome. Talking about that dorito chicken helped and this helps more. You are so right about being authentic and trying not to make those comparisons — it’s just so hard. I loved Procopio’s piece (thanks for sharing) and will try hard to keep his writing and this piece in mind whenever I post and get crickets for comments. And while I don’t think I’m ever going to get there on hunting and field-dressing, you know I’m right there with you on knowing your farmer and your meat. Thanks a million for this post (and the lamb patties).
    Yankee Kitchen Ninja (Julianne) recently posted…Coconut chocolate drops (and a Keurig giveaway)My Profile

  7. Heads up…your recipe post lists this:
    1 pound lean ground lamb, preferably from the leg
    8 cups tender spring greens such as mache (lamb’s lettuce) uplands cress and butterhead lettuce
    1/2 cup mint leaves
    2 tablespoons chopped chives
    1 pound lean ground lamb, preferably from the leg (see ingredient note)
    8 cups tender spring greens such as mache (lambs lettuce) uplands cress and butterhead lettuce
    1/2 cup mint leaves

    In other words: REPEAT?

  8. Yummy! I grew up on lamb but disliked it for two reasons: 1, my mother didn’t put much seasoning in it and 2, I found out from a lamb grower that the meat was probably more mutton than Spring lamb. Everything I bought from him was delicious. (You and I must be having the same cravings; I have Shepherd’s Pie baking in the oven!) I grew up in the days when no one knew anything much about food and my grandparents raised registered Angus cattle. We loved the handsome cattle (and I do think they are more attractive than said lamb!) but happily had big extended family dinners of roast beef and each family got 1/4 of a steer periodically. I did and still do like grain fed, well marbled beef. Can’t eat grass fed. I do eat less of it though… Everything in moderation including cute lambs or less cute chickens and fish… ;-D
    Debbie recently posted…Lovely Log Cabin QuiltsMy Profile

  9. With what I can see this is a great recipe. Thanks for the share. Can’t wait to try it.
    Koby Laffer recently posted…Australia Day 2014My Profile

  10. Hi, Katie,it is my first time to your blog from Pinterest, attracted by the delicious picture and most of all the subject: LAMB. My family is a crazy lover of lamb. However, I have never thought of making lamb patties for ourselves. Your picture and subject caught me in my thought that why I never think of before. I made dumplings (You know that those Chinese style ones, somewhat in Wonton shape but with different kind of wrappings) with minced lamb (In Canada, we can buy frozen well packed lamb from New Zealand, where I believe there are one of the most beautiful place to raise their own spices of animals). If we were to choose only one kind of meat on earth to live on with, we definitely will pick lamb to eat in the rest of our lives. . . . . Love your recipe, we will definitely have a treat. Thanks.

  11. Thanks for publishing this article. Yummy recipe-so fresh and delicious! I found your blog via Google when I was searching for LAMB. I and my kids are a crazy fans of lamb.

    Dr. Diana recently posted…Marcela LUNA – Fashion Marketing EditorMy Profile

  12. So here it is five months(+) later and I just read this.

    How delightful to know that I’ve managed to inspire anyone via a package of salad dressing mix.

    Thanks so much for the shout out. And keep on blogging. Do it to entertain and inform yourself. That’s what I find keeps me going.


    Michael Procopio recently posted…Jeeves and WorcestershireMy Profile

  13. I’m a little late to the party, but I only just found your blog and your story really resonated with me!

    When my daughter was 3 or 4 years old, we were having grilled lamb chops, and she asked, as she usually did, “What meat is this?” We told her it was lamb, and she said, with a slight frown, “Lamb? You mean a cute little baby sheep that runs in the field and goes ‘baa’?” Her dad and I looked at each other, concerned. We turned to her and one of us said yes. “Oh. Yum!” was her response, and she took a huge bite of the chop.

    Also, I agree with you about eating intuitively, except I would just call it eat what you want and it will all sort itself out by the end of the week!

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