Across the Mediterranean and the Levant kofta made from beef or lamb are served a variety of ways, often on skewers. This version places these tasty little meatballs on a salad laced with tomatoes and mint. Then to top the whole thing off a smattering of homemade tzatziki sauce serves as the dressing on this immensely satisfying salad. Serve with some pitas for a salad so hearty that it’s dinner-worthy without any other main dish.
It’s best to make the tzatziki sauce before preparing the rest of the salad so that the flavors can have time to come together. This sauce is a blend of cucumber, freshly-chopped mint, dill and some thyme. If you’re out of thyme you can use Italian seasoning instead.
Then the kofta mixture is made from ground beef, almonds, cumin, some fresh parsley, and some dried sumac. If you don’t have sumac then you can use an equal amount of lemon juice. Don’t let a lack of this seasoning keep you from making this excellent dish!
Unlike European meatballs, these little bites are traditionally rolled into oblong or oval shapes, then fried in some vegetable oil until browned and just beginning to crisp up on the outside.
Add some mint to the salad greens along with the tomatoes and pepper to create a fresh taste unlike any other. Place some kofta on each serving of salad and then add the tzatziki sauce for a salad that’s as hearty as it is attractive.
Beef Kofta Salad
25m prep time
9m cook time
For the tzatziki sauce:
- 6 stems fresh mint, divided
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cucumber, finely diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill weed
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
For the kofta and salad:
- 16 oz ground beef
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sumac or lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, chopped
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 (4 oz) package salad greens
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 2 Roma tomatoes, halved
- 4 pitas or flatbreads
- salt and pepper to taste
- Tear mint leaves from stems. Mince half mint and combine with yogurt, cucumber, dill, thyme, salt, and pepper. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Combine beef with garlic, sumac (or lemon juice), cumin, onion powder, parsley, and almonds. Form beef into 12 2” oval-shaped kofta logs. Heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Place kotfa in pan and cook for 7-9 minutes, turning often to brown all sides. Season with salt and pepper to taste when done.
- Add remaining mint leaves to salad greens and combine this with bell pepper and tomatoes in large bowl.
- Serve kofta over salad with pita on the side. Dot salad with tzatziki sauce and serve.
Recipe adapted from Healthy Food.