Lamb Patties with Yogurt Sauce, Carrots & Fresh Herbs

Ever since the election in November I’ve had a hard time looking inward. Normally an introspective person, I’ve been so focused on the changing sea of the political landscape, that there have been times when I felt worn out. Don’t get me wrong―I’m still a committed member of the resistance―but there are days I have to remind myself that it’s okay to think about something else for a while. It’s okay to join with others around other topics. That it’s okay to take a break.

Thanks to my husband, I just did. We had a loving walk on this sunny day with our puppy who was more focused on chasing leaves than heeling to his owners. And that’s okay―even puppies deserve a break now and again. The fresh air, holding my husband’s hand, and simply being was both rejuvenating and liberating.

What do you do when you need a break?

Cooking and eating with others is another way I rejuvenate myself each day. Based on several recipes put together from Small Victories by Julia Turshen, this dish of Lamb Patties with Herb Yogurt Sauce and Carrot Salad is filled with the tastes of a spring day. Ground lamb is mixed with fragrant fresh herbs—dill, mint, and chives—and formed into small patties that are lightly fried in olive oil. Topped with a cool yogurt sauce to provide a nice balance to the hot lamb, and accompanied by a lightly sweetened carrot salad, this dish is the basis of a light lunch or dinner. Enjoy it with some chilled wine, a loaf of bread, and a cheese platter for dessert. Fill your belly and your soul with this remarkable meal.

I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.


Lamb Patties with Herb Yogurt Sauce & Carrot Salad

Yield: 4 to 6 Servings


For the lamb patties—

  • 1 ½ pounds ground lamb
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large egg
  • Handful fresh assorted herbs (mint, dill & chives), rinsed and finely minced
  • Olive oil for frying

For the yogurt sauce―

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Handful fresh herbs (mint, dill & chives), rinsed and finely minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the carrot salad―

  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 scallions, rinsed and chopped
  • ½ small shallot, slivered
  • ¼ cup Mirin or rice wine vinegar mixed with ¼ teaspoon honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For serving—

  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 large handfuls of fresh herbs (mint, dill and chives), rinsed and lightly torn


To make the lamb patties—

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together by hand and the form the meat into 12 small balls. Place on a plate, cover with saran wrap, and refrigerate for at least on half hour.
  2. When the lamb is chilled through, place a ten-inch frying pan on the stovetop and coat the bottom with olive oil. Heat the oil to high, then add the patties. Brown the bottom of each, then flip them and brown the other side. Lower the heat to medium, and fry the patties until they are cooked through, about ten to fifteen minutes. Take off the heat and keep warm.

To make the yogurt sauce—

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. To make the carrot salad—
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.

To serve—

 Divide the lamb patties between four to six serving plates. Drizzle the yogurt sauce evenly over the cooked patties. Divide the carrot salad between the plates. Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with fresh herbs.

Serve and enjoy.


This recipe is based on several from Small Victories by Julia Turshen.

Dena Testa Bray has been writing Gathering Flavors, a culinary blog, since 2011. She is a trained chef & ran a home based cooking school. Dena now designs websites, focusing on work with creative people. You can see her website work at She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and family.