Tactical errors occur frequently in the kitchen here at Al Dente HQ. I have this tendency to plan a week’s worth of meals without necessarily reading the instructions.
For instance, I observe Meatless Monday and had planned to make a roasted tomato and crispy chickpea sauce. When I got home from work and read the recipe, I noticed that step one of the recipe is to roast the tomatoes for three hours. So. Yeah. That wasn’t going to work.
Meatless Monday takes a seat for Meaty Monday and what was supposed to be for dinner later in the week.
The recipe calls for you to make your own tzatziki, which I was not prepared to tackle. Frankly, I was just as content to buy the high-quality version sold on the Mediterranean bar at Wegmans. It’s damn good and stands well on its own with some pita.
WHAT WORKED: The lamb. It cooks quickly and stands up to spices well. It’s not what I would call a lean meat, so you don’t need a lot of oil to start it. And you don’t need extra liquid to cook the veggies.
WHAT DIDN’T: I guess me for not reading the recipe for the pasta.
WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “This is interesting. I’m sure you will make fun of me but I don’t understand the necessity of the peas.”
WILL MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Yes and next time with some diced tomatoes.
Ground Lamb with Asparagus and Peas
Adapted from Yasmin Fahr at Serious Eats
- 16 oz. container non-fat or 2% Greek yogurt
- 1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and grated with a microplane grater
- 1 clove garlic, grated with a microplane grater (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon zest and 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 white or whole wheat pitas
- 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 1/4 lbs. ground lamb
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen English peas
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, thinly sliced
Tzatziki: Combine the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and lime juice in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
In the same skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, cooking until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the lamb and stir until beginning to cook through and is still light pink, about 3 minutes. Add the peas and asparagus, season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp and lamb is completely cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve the lamb mixture with pita, tzatziki, and chopped mint.