About this recipe:Pan-fried lamb meatballs make a delicious filling for warm pitta bread pouches, packed out with a crisp cucumber and leafy salad. Serve with cherry tomatoes.
350g extra lean minced lamb
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, or ½ tsp dried
1 large onion, finely chopped
100g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
1 tbsp olive oil
25g fresh herbs (such as basil, flat-leaf parsley and mint), chopped
6 spring onions, thinly sliced
6 large pitta breads
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges
½ cucumber, thinly sliced
6 tbsp low-fat natural yoghurt
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Method Prep:40min › Cook:15min › Ready in:55min
Put the lamb in a large mixing bowl and break it up with a wooden spoon. Add the egg, garlic, oregano, thyme and onion and mix well. Then add the breadcrumbs and mix until thoroughly combined, using your hands.
Have a large board or plate ready, then roll the lamb mixture into 24 even walnut-sized balls. Flatten the balls slightly on the palm of your hand to make small patties, about 5cm across and about 1cm thick.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the patties, nudging them up to each other – they should just about fit, and they shrink as they begin to cook. Cook over a high heat for 2 minutes until browned underneath, then turn them over and cook for a further 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, turn the patties again and cook for about 8 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, and turning the patties once more, until cooked through.
Meanwhile, mix the chopped fresh herbs with the spring onions and rocket. Warm the pitta breads in a toaster or under the grill, turning them once.
Slit the pitta breads open and place 4 kofta in each. Add some cucumber slices and herb salad and squeeze over a little lemon juice. Drizzle with yoghurt and eat at once.
Ring the changes – use pork with sage, and chicken or turkey with tarragon.
Instead of filling pitta breads, roll up the kofta and salad in wraps. Spread the yoghurt over the wraps first.
The cooked kofta could also be tossed with 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, 200g halved cherry tomatoes and the herb salad, then topped with cucumber raita.