These lamb koftas are suprisingly easy to make, I wondered for most of yesterday why I'd not attempted them before. Seeing as we're not going to Greece on holiday this summer I decided to bring a bit of Greece to us, in the form of food.
I have to admit, small crimes were committed for the sake of this recipe. We don't grow any fresh herbs and this dish was crying out for some fresh rosemary. I chucked a hoodie on and roamed the streets, looking for a nearby garden with easy access fresh rosemary. I felt (and probably looked) a bit dodgy but needs must – and luckily I found some growing over a garden hedge. A few sprigs later, I was back in the kitchen, giddy AF.
So, make sure you either own, buy, or steal some rosemary for this recipe. It really needs it. The secret is to really chop it very small using scissors, anything any bigger than 1mm or so will be too big and stick out of your mince mixture and it won't compact against the skewer. Mint is also a great shout but I couldn't find any to forage (or ahem, steal).
Lamb Kofta Kebabs with Balsamic Courgette Salad
For the skewers
Makes about 7-8 skewers
- 500g lamb mince
- 2 springs fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- Sprinkle black pepper
- Wooden skewers
For the salad
- 1 large courgette
- 1/2 red onion
- 10-12 cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 block feta, crumbled
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil for griddling
Soak your wooden skewers in whatever vessel they'll fit in – I use a bucket or a large baking tray filled with water. They need half an hour minimum but ideally get them soaking for 2-3 hours.
Finely chop the Rosemary using scissors to get it really small. Next, take your lamb mince and transfer into a large bowl. Add all the spices and massage into the meat using your hands. If you have time let the mince marinade in the spices in the fridge for a few hours. If not, get skewering!
To make the skewers, make sure you have wet hands and then grab a ball of mince. Form it into a sort of sausage shape and then put the skewer through the middle. Once on the skewer, you can kind of stretch the mixture down it slowly, packing it tightly against the skewer. Give it a quick roll on a chopping board to get a smoother finish (but don't roll it too many times as it will loosen off the skewer).
The skewers will only need 10 mins or so under a hot grill, so get the courgette salad done next. Chop the courgette vertically into even strips and then place on a griddle pan with a little olive oil. Griddle on both sides until they get those beautiful charred marks and then pop to one side. Finely chop the tomatoes, red onion and crumble up the feta in a bowl. Add the courgette and toss through the balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Pop the skewers under a hot grill for 10-12 minutes – keep your eye on them as they will need turning. Serve with the salad, some tzatsiki and a pitta bread or rice.