A Mediterranean Lunch

Today I will set out a quick and easy to prepare, tasty and delicious Mediterranean style lunch of Koftas with grilled zucchini salad. It is accompanied with a salad of mixed baby heirloom plum tomatoes and cucumber, roasted banana chillies, kalamata olives, feta cheese and Baba Ganoush dip. This is traditionally served with fresh rocket leaves, pita bread and wedges of lemon.

Allowing the Koftas to rest for a couple of hours before cooking, (even overnight if you can) enhances the flavours of the herbs and spices in the meat. The salads and accompaniments can all be prepared ahead making serving quick and easy,. as cooking the prepared Koftas only take a few minutes. This is perfect for the long hot summer days that we are experiencing in Sydney at the moment.

The flavours of the Mediterrrean come together well with all these elements and makes this lunch not only easy to prepare but delicious and satisfying.

(My recipe for the roasted and marinaded banana chillies can be found at the link above.)

A special thanks to Jackie whose flavourful organic zucchini, tomatoes and cucumbers formed the basis of this lunch. Home grown vegetables are much preferred for their depth of flavour and crispness.

A Mediterranean Lunch

img_20190110_000204cucumbers and tomatoes

Ingredients:

Koftas:

  • 500 g minced pork and veal (or lamb or beef if you prefer)
  • 1/2 large onion, minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup of mint leaves, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 cup of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp of ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp of salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs
  • 1 slice of wholemeal bread, torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup of milk

Grilled Sliced Zucchini Salad:

  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • White Balsamic Vinegar (or brown as preferred)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parsley, finely chopped for garnish
  • Lemon juice

Small tomato and Cucumber Salad:

  • 250 g mixed baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small cucumber, quartered and sliced with the skin on
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • White Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Accompaniments:

  • Babaganoush Dip
  • Kalamata olives
  • Feta cheese, cubed
  • Roasted banana chillies
  • Wedges of lemon to serve with the Koftas
  • Rocket leaves to serve with Koftas
  • Pita bread to serve

Method:

The salads can be prepared ahead. I have used a George Foreman grill to save time in cooking both sides of the Kofta at the same time but any grill can be used.

Grilled Sliced Zucchini Salad:

  1. Wash and dry zucchini and remove the top and tailimg_20190122_122224-zucchini sliced 3
  2. Slice thinly on a diagonalimg_20190122_121155-zucchini sliced
  3. Grill for 3  minutes in the Foreman grill or 3 minutes on each side on a regular grill plateimg_20190122_123123-zucchini grilled
  4. Remove to a serving dish to cool
  5. In a small jug, whisk 2 Tblsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil with 2 Tblsp of white Balsamic vinegar (or 1 Tblsp regular Balsamic vinegar), salt and freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice
  6. When the sliced zucchini is cool spoon over the dressing and garnish with finely chopped parsleyimg_20190122_130226-zucchini salad

Small Tomato and Cucumber Salad:

  1. Quarter and slice the cucumberimg_20190122_122224-tomato salad3
  2. Halve the baby plum tomatoes
  3. Place the cucumbers and tomatoes in a serving bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper
  4. Dress with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and white Balsamic vinegar and toss wellimg_20190122_130232-tomato and cucumber salad
  5. If making ahead just prepare the tomatoes and cucumber and set aside in the fridge and dress close to serving

Koftas:

  1. Place the mince in a large mixing bowl
  2. Mince the onion and cloves of garlic and add to the mince
  3. In a small bowl, soak the torn bread slice in the milk for a minute or two then remove the bread and squeeze as much of the milk from it as you can. Then place it with the mince
  4. Add the chopped mint, parsley, Italian herbs, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt and pepperimg_20190122_114737-kofta ingredients
  5. Using your hands mix thoroughly until well incorporated into a ball of meat onion, spices and herbsimg_20190122_115349-kofta meat
  6. Taking small handfuls and shape into sausage shaped rolls, squeezing it to create the pointed ends

    img_20190122_120045-koftas shaping
    Form the Koftas with your hands and set aside to cook on George Foreman grill  or use skewers if using regular grill
  7. Set Koftas aside in the fridge for about an hourimg_20190122_120615-koftas
  8. Place in a heated George Foreman grill or grill plate on high and spray the Koftas with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil spray
  9. In the Foreman grill cook for 5 minutes. If using a regular grill cook until well browned and cooked through
  10. Remove to a serving dish with Rocket leaves and wedges of lemonimg_20190122_130219-koftas5

Serving:

Set out your platter of Koftas with salads and accompaniments and serve with pita bread and a glass of wine or sparkling mineral water and enjoy all the flavours of the Mediterranean.

img_20190122_130857-koftas and salad2

img_20190122_130121-a mediterranean lunch
Koftas with salads, roasted banana chillies, Babaganoush and Kalamata olives

 

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