For some reason, when I am having company, I always decide to try something new. This is probably as close as I come to “living life on the edge” if I’m being honest. But where there’s risk, there’s a chance at reward, and let me tell you- this dish was a crowd pleaser (especially since the crowd involved broke college kids who are used to living off easy-mac and frozen pizza). The mediterranean flavors of the mint, golden raisins, and warming spices really complimented the flavor of the lamb and kept it from tasting too game-y. Add the sauce and simple salad on the side, and you have something that’s fresh, elegant, and beautiful.
Lamb Kofta with Mint Chimichurri and Pea & Mint Salad
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 T minced garlic
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon chopped golden raisins
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 cup parsley, including stems
- 1 cup fresh mint, including stems
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ t. salt
- ½ t. pepper
- 1 cup olive oil
- ¼ cup tahini
- 3-4- T. water
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 2 t. maple syrup, or more to taste
- Pinch of salt + pepper
- 4 oz. arugula or spinach and arugula mix
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Freshly ground salt +pepper
- 1 d’anjou pear, sliced thinly
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup frozen peas, thawed
- Handful fresh mint, thinly sliced
For the kofta, preheat oven to 400 and add the lamb and all other ingredients into a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with your hands until seasonings are evenly distributed. Form little “meatballs” into the shape of small footballs. Thread two or three onto a skewer and place on an oiled baking sheet. Bake at 400 for approximately 20 minutes until browned, checking once to turn and render fat from the baking sheet. When the meat has cooked through, let the kofta rest for about 5 minutes before serving alongside the chimichurri.
While the lamb cooks, make the chimichurri, add all ingredients to a blender except for oil. Begin blending on low, and then slowly pour in oil while increasing the speed. The consistency should be slightly thick, but not paste-y. Add more oil if necessary.
Next, start making the dressing by pouring the tahini in a bowl. Slowly add water while whisking. The mixture will begin to thicken and create a paste. Continue adding water until it becomes creamy again. It will become whiter as you add water. Whisk in lemon juice, maple syrup, and season with salt and pepper. The consistency should be creamy, but thin enough to easily drizzle over salad.
Place salad greens in a bowl, and lightly dress with the lemon juice, salt and pepper and allow it to begin to wilt a bit. Add sliced pear, radishes, and peas. Serve with tahini dressing on the side.
Note: This can all be prepared ahead of time if you omit the lemon juice on the salad greens until about 30 minutes before serving. You can reheat the kofta in about 10 minutes in the oven at 400.