Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Lamb Meatballs with Tahini Dipping Sauce and Cucumber Salad
1 lb ground lamb
1 small eggplant
1.5 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sea salt
Cover a small baking pan with foil and roast the eggplant for 1-1.5 hours at 375 degrees, or until the eggplant is soft. Remove from the oven, peel, and mash with a fork. Set the flesh in a strainer and let the liquid drain off.
Combine the mashed eggplant, lamb, egg, oregano, and sea salt in a large bowl. It will be pretty goopy. Form mixture into meatballs. I like to use a tablespoon measure - if made with heaping tablespoons you should get about 26 meatballs.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. If you use a nonstick skillet, no fat is necessary as the lamb will render out enough. If your skillet is not nonstick, you might want to grease it. Fry the meatballs on three sides until they are nicely browned.
tahini dipping sauce:
1/2 cup tahini
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
handful of fresh cilantro or parsley or both
Toss everything in a food processor and let it rip til it's smooth. It's better to make this at least an hour in advance to let the flavors meld (I make the sauce after I stick the eggplant in the oven and then pull it out of the fridge at serving time).
1/2 a large English hothouse cucumber
red wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
Score the cucumber with a fork and then slice it into thin rounds.
Put the cucumber slices into a strainer or colander and sprinkle with sea salt. Put something heavy on top and let it drain while everything else cooks.
Right before serving, squeeze out all the remaining water and drizzle on some red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.