Lamb Kafta with Scarlet Quinoa Salad

I entered this recipe favorite of mine in FOOD 52’s Weekly Challenge: BEST MEATBALL RECIPE

I love meatballs – Italian style or otherwise – and this recipe came from looking for an alternative that took advantage of my favorite springtiime veggies – as well as finding a way to make greek meatballs in a healthy dish.


Koftas (Meatballs):

  • 1/2 pound ground dark meat ground turkey
  • 1/4 pound ground lamb
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 2 stalks extremely fine-diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon each of cumin, oregano, and paprika
  • 3 tablespoons panko style bread crumbs
  • season with salt to taste

Quinoa Salad:

  • the zest and juice of two lemons
  • 1/2 an english cucumber finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon mint, parsley, cilantro and dill
  • 4 tomatoes – cut into bite size chunks (eights?)
  • 2 stalks of finely diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  1. Mix all the Kofta ingredients together in a bowl – cover – and refridgerate while we make the Quinoa Salad
  2. I make a cup of scarlet quinoa (add 1 cup of dry scarlet quinoa grain to 1 1/4 cup boiling chicken stock) stir in the quinoa – and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes – take off heat and leave covered for 5 minutes – then fluff with a fork. and set aside to cool.
  3. Mix all the diced vegetables together and the olive oil, salting and peppering to taste.
  4. I put the BBQ on high heat. Make kafta meatballs with a tablespoon – and then roll your meat balls in olive oil, fresh ground pepper, sesame seed and a little ground sea salt. these will grill very fast on the grille – literally – as you finish setting your meatballs down – immediately start turning them from where you started. MAX 1 minute on each side – then put them on a lightly oiled baking pan – and into the oven for five minutes at 350.
  5. Mix the veggies and quinoa together. Add the quinoa a little at a time or it is liable to clump up. (not pretty)
  6. Plate the still sizzling koftas fresh out of the oven on a bed of the scarlet quinoa salad – and garnish with the yogurtcorianderlemon sauce.