Greek Lamb Meatballs

If you haven’t cooked with lamb before, give this recipe a try and I bet you’ll be hooked. I heard about it on NPR and have loved the recipe all spring.  It’s great on a salad, on pasta or over rice. Give it a try with pita and sides like hummus, baba ganoush, tahini sauce or tzatziki.  

Easy and great for meal prep. You can make extra to freeze in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 months. Just remember to date and label well. You can also store them in a bit of red sauce if you prefer. 

Always look for humanely and sustainably raised meats. If we eat less meat, but higher quality meats we can have healthier people and a healthier planet. 

Greek meatballs with lamb and feta cheese

Greek Meatballs

*Recipe From Kathy Gunst On WBUR’s Here And Now*

Yields: 12-15 meatballs

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried and crumbled
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs or panko
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint
  • ¼ to ½ cup feta or goat cheese cheese, finely crumbled, or cut into small cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground lamb (sustainably sourced and humanely raised)
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or olive)

 

Optional for Serving

 

  • Toasted Walnuts

 

Directions:

Mince the garlic. In a medium skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over low heat. Add the garlic and cook about 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and golden brown. Be careful not to burn. Add the thyme and remove from the heat. Let cool.

Beat the egg and rough chop the mint. In a large bowl thoroughly mix the oil and cooked garlic and thyme with the egg, breadcrumbs, mint, cheese, salt, pepper and ground lamb.

Divide the mixture into 12-15 meatballs. The mixture can be covered and refrigerated for up to 12 hours ahead of cooking.

Heat a large skillet heat over medium or medium high heat. Once heated, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the canola oil.

Working in batches, cook the meatballs about 3 to 5 minutes per side, until brown and cooked through (there should be no sign of pink). Drain on paper towels if desired or pour drippings into pitas.

To serve, spread the tzatziki onto a serving platter and top with the warm meatballs. Scatter with toasted walnuts, if using.

Goes well with pita, hummus, some rough chopped parsley and/or tahini sauce.

**Recipe from Kathy Gunst on WBUR’s Here and Now**

Tzatziki

Here’s a fun way to bring an international flare to Memorial Day weekend. This tzatziki (yogurt cucumber sauce) is great to have on hand for a BBQ because it goes perfectly with a beef or lamb burger, with chicken and as a topping for veggie burgers. Yum!

To use the leftover cucumber juice, you can drink it straight or add it to a smoothie. It’s super hydrating and delicious! My favorite way is to use it in a refreshing summer cocktail recipe. Check that out here. 🙂 Enjoy the weekend!

Finished Tzatziki 

Tzatziki

Yields: 3 cups sauce

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups whole or 2% plain or Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons Greek Seasoning (or oregano)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper (white or black)
  • 5 sprigs fresh parsley for serving (optional)
  • Warm pita bread for serving (optional)
  • Sliced vegetables for serving (optional)

 

Directions:

Prep the cucumber. Peel cucumber into stripes. This means leaving some of the green in long stripes along the cucumber, so it has alternating peeled and unpeeled stripes. Discard the peels.

Using a box grater, grate the cucumbers. Coat with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Transfer cucumber to a fine mesh strainer over a deep bowl to drain. Optionally Spoon the grated cucumber into a cheesecloth or a double thickness napkin or paper towel and squeeze dry. Set aside.

Make the garlic paste. Peel the garlic cloves. Place the garlic cloves in a food processor or mortar and pestle. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and the vinegar. Blend or mash and add olive oil until you make a thick paste.

Combine and chill. Add the cucumber and garlic paste to a large bowl. Add the yogurt, oregano or Greek Seasoning and white or black pepper. Combine thoroughly. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

When ready to serve, stir the tzatziki sauce and transfer to serving bowls and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil if desired. Can top with chopped parsley as well.

Great with Chicken Shawarma, falafel, lamb meatballs or your favorite sliced vegetables. Keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Enjoy!

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