SIMPLY SEASONED, grilled meat seems to call for a satisfying green salad with plenty of crunch and character. This meal features quickly grilled lamb patties flavored with lemon and herbs, accompanied with an unusual and delicious salad of spinach, orange sections and macadamia nuts.
The food is well suited to autumn, and may be prepared out-of-doors or inside. Sliced french bread with butter would be a nice addition and sliced ripe pears with vanilla ice cream would be a smooth, easy dessert. As usual, you are expected to have some staples on hand--sugar, pepper (preferably freshly ground) and oil (olive, if you have it).
EXPRESS LANE LIST: Ground lamb, lemons, fresh mint, fresh basil, oranges, fresh spinach, macadamia nuts. GRILLED LAMB PATTIES WITH LEMON AND HERBS (4 to 6 servings) 1 pound lean ground lamb Juice of 2 lemons 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pat the meat dry with paper towels to absorb all excess moisture.
In a large bowl, mix together the lamb, lemon juice, mint, basil and pepper. Form the mixture into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least half an hour; this will allow the meat to absorb the flavors of the lemon juice and herbs.
Light the charcoal or preheat the broiler to high. Form the meat into 6 patties. Cook the patties, turning once, 4 to 6 inches above hot coals (or broil 4 to 6 inches from the heat) until brown on the outside and cooked through to the desired state of doneness, about 5 minutes.
Note: If fresh basil and mint are unavailable, other combinations of fresh herbs may be substituted; dill and parsley are a good flavor combination. FRESH SPINACH SALAD WITH ORANGES AND MACADAMIA NUTS (4 to 6 servings) 1 1/4 pounds fresh spinach, stemmed 2 oranges, peeled and sectioned 1 cup salted macadamia nuts 5 tablespoons olive oil 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Pinch of sugar 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Tear the spinach into large bite-size pieces. In a large salad bowl combine the spinach, orange sections and macadamia nuts. (If the nuts are very large, halve them.)
In a small bowl slowly whisk the oil into the lemon juice in a thin stream until creamy. Whisk in the sugar and pepper. Toss the dressing with the spinach mixture until lightly coated.
Note: Pecan halves may be substituted if macadamia nuts are unavailable.