We’ve been making these lamb koftas loads lately – they’re so quick and easy to make with just a few ingredients. It’s also simple to make them in bulk and freeze the extra as a fallback for random children’s playdates!
If we’re eating them inside, we panfry them in a little extra virgin olive oil – but if barbecuing them either squash them around a kebab stick or make the koftas a little larger so they don’t slip through the grills. They also work really well as lamb burgers.
If you can find local organic minced lamb – or hogget (‘lamb’ that is over a year old, full of flavour), I’d use this as a preference. It’s not much more expensive, but does have more health benefits – such as a higher ratio of healthy fats such as CLA and Omega 3. Knowing it’s hormone and antibiotic-residue free always ticks my box too.
As well as tasting great and adding flavour, the spices, onion, garlic and oregano leaves are all in the recipe for a particular reason – they help to protect the meat from chemical changes. This is really important if you’re using a high temperature cooking method such as barbecuing, which generates a host of chemical nasties. If you’re interested in how you can barbecue more healthily (we particularly like the ‘accompany barbecue with a beer’ option!) take a look at our suggestions here; This is one of the reasons why we use rocket leaves to accompany our koftas – rocket is one of the group of vegetables that can help our body to process the meat and protect us from these same chemicals.
Oregano is a herb that can be hard to find sometimes in a supermarket – if this is the case, simply substitute with another soft herb such as mint or parsley. We grow oregano in the garden, and it’s a really cost-effective way of making sure you have a supply all summer long. A small pot in a garden centre doesn’t cost much, and it thrives outside – spreading at a nice rate (unlike mint) – so if you plant this summer, you should have a good supply by next.
Oregano is a really healthy herb to use as much as you can when it’s in season – like thyme it has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, but the real benefit is its antioxidant activity. It’s by far and away the top herb for antioxidant activity, and far outstrips other fruits and vegetables – including blueberries!
We normally serve the koftas drizzled with a lemon cucumber yogurt, and packed into wholemeal pitta halves with rocket leaves, but they also taste amazing simply with green leafy salads, quinoa salads or in wraps.
The recipe should make around 20-24 small koftas.
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