I'm sorry for my lack of posting over the last two weeks. It's a busy time. Life is flying past in a blur. I often think about why it seems that each year goes faster than the last. Is it because most of us are doing the same thing day in day out? Because life is not as new and unfamiliar as it was growing up?
I had a conversation with a friend a few months ago about this topic and he said to slow his life down, he did one new thing a week, even if it was as mundane as walking a different way to work. Sometimes he'd go to the symphony, go for a run in the park instead of the gym, or eat somewhere new for breakfast. Doing something different, no matter how small, gave him a kind of placeholder in his mind so he could distinguish each week from another.
My friend's name is 'Lamby' and I'm dedicating this recipe, a Lebanese lamb kofta salad, to him. I hope this week stands out in his recollections as a special week.
The lamb kofta salad is a dish I ate during my recent detox diet. I have a real weakness for Lebanese food, especially a garlic sauce often eaten with barbecued meats. I first tasted it in a small Lebanese restaurant called Fatimas in Sydney. I've tried on many occasion to replicate the creamy concoction but I never get it just right. I do come pretty close though.
The sauce is a combination of TWO garlic bulbs (yes, I do smell of garlic for the next two days), olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt. It's fantastic smeared over lamb, chicken, beef, white fish and in salads. Just don't kiss anyone.
Lamb Kofta Salad
500g lean ground lamb
1/2 medium brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 tsp of sea salt
1 tbs olive oil for frying
1 cup parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
1 Lebanese cucumber, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 small Spanish onion, finely sliced
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
2 garlic bulbs
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tsp sea salt
- Place ground lamb, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander and sea salt in a bowl. Use your hands to mix until well combined. Shape 1 1/2 tablespoonfuls of the lamb mixture into small meatballs. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the garlic sauce. Peel the garlic cloves and put them in the blender or food processor. Add half the lemon juice and start to blend. You may from time to time have stop and push the garlic down with a spoon if it sticks to the side. Add the salt. Continue to blend.
- Now add the olive oil in a slow stream while continuing to blend.The sauce should have the consistency of mayonnaise. Taste it to see if you need to add the rest of the lemon juice. If it needs more lemon, add the rest of the juice and then pulse for 10 seconds. Refrigerate until you need it.
- Heat a oil in frying pan over medium heat. Cook meatballs turning occasionally, for 8 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
- Combine parsley, mint, cucumber, tomato and Spanish onion in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine. Serve with lamb kofta and a side of garlic sauce for dipping.