Search
  • Carlos Sarmiento

Keftedes (Greek meatballs) on flatbread with Tzaziki sauce, roasted red peppers & Feta


(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Continuing with our exploration of all things Mediterranean, I was asked by some of my readers to come up with something exotic, yet simple to do.

Inspiration usually comes from the most unlikeliest of sources...well, most of the time.


(Photo: Matt Artz)


A good friend of mine, and an excellent cook in her own right, who is half Greek and half Italian (talk about the perfect culinary mix), told me she recently made a simple yet amazingly flavorful meal for her family.

Simple and flavorful all in the same sentence... That’s my kind of meal indeed!


She told me she made keftedes with tzaziki sauce.


(Photo: Matt Artz) Keftedes are Greek-style meatballs usually made with ground beef, pork or lamb (some mix the beef and pork). They can be shaped in balls or ovals and can be baked or fried.


Originally from Turkey, tzaziki is a dip, sauce or soup, made out of salted strained yogurt, lemon juice and herbs like dill, mint, parsley and thyme. Some even put olive oil, garlic and cucumbers. Tzaziki is always served cold.


Blend these two items, and you will savor every ingredient with every bite. Trust me.

(Photo: Xuan Nguyen)


For today’s recipe, I am making baked keftedes from lean ground beef and the tzaziki with garlic and cucumbers. For extra flavor and colorful garnishing, I am adding roasted red bell peppers and some crumbled feta cheese, all on top of a warmed flatbread.


Thank you Gina for sharing your recipe and for the inspiration. I will be making this dish again.


(Photo: Joe deSousa)


Let’s get cooking!


Menu:

Keftedes (Greek meatballs) on flatbread with Tzaziki sauce and Feta cheese


Wine pairing:

2019 Hacienda Araucano Carmenere Reserva (Colchagua Valley, Chile)


Serves 4


Ingredients


Keftedes

  • 1 lb of lean ground beef

  • 1 medium sized yellow onion, grated

  • 1/3 cup of fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup of fresh mint, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 egg

  • 1/3 cup of bread crumbs

  • Sea salt & cracked black pepper (a pinch of each)


Tzaziki

  • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and grated (drain some of the liquid)

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • Juice and zest of 1 large lemon

  • 1 tablespoon of fresh mint, finely chopped

  • Sea salt & cracked black pepper (a pinch of each)


Roasted pepper

  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut in half, with stem, seeds and membrane removed


Feta cheese

  • Block of feta cheese, chopped in course, small square crumbles


Flatbread

  • Flatbreads like naan work well. One per serving.


Directions

Tzaziki sauce

  • Mix yogurt, grated cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, freshly chopped mint. Add pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper. Mix again, cover and store in refrigerator for at least one hour.


Roasted red peppers

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

  • Lay peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet, cut side down.

  • Roast peppers for 15-25 minutes, or until outer skins are dark

  • Once the skins are blackened, remove from oven, cool for a few minutes and carefully remove outer skin

  • Cut roasted peppers into long thin strips, set aside


Keftedes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • In a large bowl, mix ground beef with grated onion, garlic, mint, parsley, and oregano. Add salt and pepper, mix again.

  • Add egg and slowly add bread crumbs. Mix well.

  • Shape mixture into ovals or balls (no more than 2 inches thick)

  • Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cooked through (golden brown).

*If meatballs or ovals are too thick, slice them lengthwise before serving.


Serve it up!

On individual plates, place a warm flatbread and spoon a generous serving of tzaziki sauce evenly on the bread.

Place a few of the sliced keftedes on top and add a few strips of roasted red peppers around the keftedes. Top with crumpled feta cheese.


Optional additional garnish: cracked black pepper and some freshly chopped Italian parsley.

Καλή όρεξη! (Kalí óreksi!) Enjoy!

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)



(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)



(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)


About the wine...

Special thanks to my friends at Winesellers Ltd. for their wonderful contribution of this Chilean Carmenere. After lengthy research in several regions of Chile, Bordeaux Wine Grower François Lurton planted his vineyard on virgin terroir, with poor soil and a healthy, balanced climate: the Lolol Valley.


A pioneer in this valley, he created its first bodega. Drawing on expertise acquired in vine-yards and wineries all over the world and using environmentally-friendly (biodynamic) methods, he has produced remarkable wines.


2019 Hacienda Araucano Carmenere Reserva (Colchagua Valley, Chile)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)



(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)


Tasting notes: Concentrated nose of liquorice and blackcurrant, with a minty freshness. Exceptionally round and soft on the palate. Slight grilled notes of coffee come through on the finish. This wine was aged for ten months in French oak.


Grapes: 100% Carmenere - One of the oldest varieties of the Bordeaux region, from where it originates (Médoc). Having long been confused with the Merlot variety, given its similar appearance and characteristics, it was only discovered quite recently and has now become Chile’s emblematic variety.


Food pairing: Meats (beef, pork, lamb) dishes and cheeses.


For more information, visit:

http://www.winesellersltd.com/wine-brand/Hacienda%20Araucano.html


http://www.winesellersltd.com/wine/Lolol%20Valley/Hacienda%20Araucano/Hacienda%20Araucano%20Reserva%20Carmenere/2019.html


Decorative wine drip collar by: https://dripstosips.com

(Special discount promo code: CFW15)

(Photo: Tamara Gura /Instagram: tami727)





100 views3 comments