Tuesday, November 28, 2017

For the Love of Lamb: Yotam Ottolenghi's Kofta Recipe

I think I may have forever changed my opinion on eating lamb last night.

We take part in the Walden Local Meat meat share program, and I have had a pound of ground lamb sitting in the chest freezer for several months, not knowing what to do with it. I didn't grow up eating lamb, and when I have had it in ground form, it always tends to taste just, so...lamby.

Chef Reiton, on the other hand, has a sort-of fascination for it. If I mention lamb is on a menu or that I bought a leg of lamb to roast, his eyes light up. So I feel kind-of bad that I repeatedly pass the lamb section in the meat department.

Hence the dinner we made last night. We own Yotam Ottolenghi's Jerusalem cookbook. There is not one dish that I have made from that cookbook that I have not positively LOVED. And so when I mentioned that we had ground lamb hiding in the freezer downstairs and Chef Reiton said, "OH???", my hand went to Jerusalem's spine and gave her a little tug off the shelf. A quick perusal of the index led us to "kofta," little lamb and beef logs mixed with pine nuts, parsley, onion and garlic and seared to dark, crusty perfection before they are nestled in and drizzled with a tahini dressing and browned butter. Ottolenghi suggests serving it with a cucumber and tomato salad, which we did, ignoring his direction to not do the fried, spicy chickpeas.

Kofta drizzled with tahini sauce and butter and sprinkled with parsley, pine nuts and paprika

Cucumber and tomato salad with spicy, crispy chickpeas

 The dinner was incredible. If two of us would have done the prepping, we could have had both dishes on the table in 30 minutes. And when the tahini sauce got mixed into the salad and chickpeas? It was a glorious, delicious mess. I told Chef Reiton after the first bite that I wasn't going to be able to talk to him during this dinner...

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