tabbouleh + lamb kofta

Working at the Cookbook Store in Toronto had its perks. Among them was the inside scoop on the great books from over the pond. When the book, Ottolenghi, came out many years ago in the UK, the Cookbook Store was hot on its trail. I was in love with the book long before it was reprinted for the North American market, I dream(ed) of owning a shop like theirs, of eating their food and creating a book that looked like that. Since then, authors Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi have created many more vibrant and dream-like books - Plenty, Jerusalem, and the upcoming, Plenty More. These books are my desert island books, they not only produce lovely results, they are beautiful in photography and narrative and I can get lost in them for hours (toddler permitting). Inspired by their work in Jerusalem and my effusive love of them, I created the grain-free version of tabbouleh, substituting cauliflower instead of bulgur.

inspired by Jerusalem, by Tamimi & Ottolenghi

1/3 cup cauliflower, finely diced florets
3/4 cup tomato, seeded and diced
1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
1 1/4 cup, about 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems removed, finely chopped
3/4 cup, about 1 bunch mint, stems removed, finely chopped
3 tbsp lemon juice
1.5 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp garlic

Combine all of the ingredients in serving bowl. Adjust seasoning, adding more lemon and salt if necessary. Wait at least 10 minutes to let flavours intensify before serving. Tabbouleh keeps well in the fridge for 1-2 days.

lamb kofta

2 lbs ground lamb
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/8 cup mint, finely chopped
1/8 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp pepperoncino/red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
1 1/2 tsp allspice, ground
1 1/2 tsp cumin, ground
3/4 tsp nutmeg, fresh grated
1 tsp black pepper, fresh ground
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a bowl, combine lamb and the remainder of the ingredients. Using hands, mix ingredients until well combined. Roll meatballs with hands and place into a baking dish, ensuring the sides of meatballs are touching so they keep their shape in the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until fully cooked. Halfway through cooking time, remove pan and drain fat, if necessary so meatballs crisp up.

Serve on sweet potato noodles, rice or cauliflower rice with tabbouleh and dairy permitting, a generous dollop of full fat greek yogurt.