Tuesday, April 12, 2011

BBQ Kafta, Spinach Tzatziki, Garbanzo Salad

I'm back from NYC (always too soon) and ready to cook food I was inspired by seeing on the east coast. These kafta patties I made are very delicate, so use caution when flipping and transferring them. Luckily, if they break, they can easily be formed back even after baking.
I love making bean salads to bring to work for lunch, this recipe makes a great chilled or room temp salad that tastes better the longer it sits. Serve it over baby spinach leaves and dress with leftover spinach tzatziki thinned down with a bit of lemon juice and olive oil.

Savory, spicy grilled kafta patties with fresh mint and parsley and fresh, marinated chickpea salad with lemon zest, roma tomato and scallions. Serve with a different spin on tzatziki, blending spinach in with the cucumber and fresh herbs.

BBQ Kafta
1/2 white onion, rough chop
1/4 cup fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tsp dried dill
1 tbl fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
salt and pepper
12 oz vegan ground beef ( I used Gimmie Lean)
3 tbl whole wheat flour
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350. Additionally, prepare a grill pan over high heat and a greased baking sheet with parchment or foil.
Combine the onion, parsley, garlic, dill, lemon, cayenne, allspice, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and add the ground beef and flour. Form the kafta into balls or patties and grill on each side for 5 minutes to obtain dark grill marks. Transfer to a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes more.

Spinach Tzatziki
1 cucumber, seeded, rough chop
1 shallot, rough chop
2 tbl fresh chopped parsley
1/2 cup packed baby spinach leaves
6 fresh mint leaves
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
salt and pepper

In a food processor, add the cucumber, shallot, parsley, spinach, mint and lemon. Blend until pureed. Add the sour cream, salt and pepper and pulse to combine. Chill before serving to thicken back up and allow the flavors to meld.

Garbanzo Salad
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 white onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-15oz cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup water
1 roma tomato, seeded, small dice
2 tbl freshly chopped parsley
4 fresh mint leaves
1 tbl fresh lemon zest
juice from half lemon
2 scallions, green parts only, small chopped
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil

In a medium sized pot, saute 1 tbl olive oil with the shallots and some salt over medium-low heat until soft and translucent but not brown. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute more to toast. Add the beans and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes until the water has evaporated.
In a large bowl, combine the tomato, parsley, mint, lemon zest and juice and scallions. Add the beans and set to the side to cool down. When ready to serve, toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. This salad tastes best at room temperature or chilled.

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