I’m pretty excited about sharing this recipe with you today. I’ve been really into making foods from other cultures lately so, fair warning, there is going to be some border crossing. I hope you have your passport ready because today I’m taking you to lunch in Athens.
Okay, not really, let me clarify. Your taste buds, I’m taking your taste buds on an adventure to Greece.
So I rarely get the chance to make fun and exotic flavors because there are some very unimaginative palettes in my house and adding pesto to pepperoni pizza is about as much as they can handle. Boring, right? I personally love to taste and experiment with foods from all around the world and, though I’ll pass on eating beetles at this point in my life, I’m pretty open to trying new things.
Considering the fact that I’ve never been there, I’m not entirely sure that this is actually a representation of Greek food. But really, how can you sum up an entire nation’s culinary parameters in one dish? Especially one with as deep a history as Greece. Hey, if a U.S. mall food court can pass a pita with some lettuce and questionable meat as a gyro then I think I can label this Greek.
We’ve been doing a little family project recently with geography and focusing on different parts of the world every week. I guess that’s where all of this inspiration to create worldwide foods is coming from. I bet you can guess what continent we’re on right now. Yep, Europe, and while it’s not the biggest one by any means it has a lot of different countries to choose from. We’re doing Asia next so you can expect to be seeing some Indian, Thai, and probably a few other recipes coming from there soon.
I’ll admit that I was surprised by the consensus on this meal. Everyone loved it and now they’re all excited to try other ethnic foods which makes me super happy because that gives me license to play around a little.
As for the recipe, I know the ingredient list seems really long and the recipe may seem complicated at first, but it’s really not. It’s actually one of my favorite kinds of recipes. The kind that comes together quickly while you stay busy the whole time. It’s all about multi-tasking here. I mean, the couscous takes like 10 minutes (if that) and the green beans are so basic. Also, the tzatziki can be made ahead of time so the meatballs are really the only thing that take a few minutes and they are still very basic.
This is something I will definitely be doing again. If I can make enough for my ginormous gang in an hour than this should be super quick for a small family and even faster for two or even 1. FYI, Leftovers of this only get better.
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- juice of 1/2 of 1 lemon
- 1 large cucumber
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 cups fresh green beans
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- salt & pepper
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 cloves garlic, miced
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon each of: cumin, cinnamon, paprika, dried mint, dried parsley, salt, and pepper
- 250 grams dry instant couscous
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- salt & pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients for ztatziki in a blender or food processor and until nearly smooth. Pour into container with sealable lid and place in fridge to chill until ready to serve.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and toss green beans in a large bowl with oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper. Place in oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes until beans are slightly shriveled and browned.
- Mix all ingredients for meatballs (except ground turkey) in a large bowl until well combined. Add turkey and incorporate with your hands. Roll into 3 inch balls and place on foil lined baking tray. Repeat with all of the mixture until it is all divided. Then poke skewers threw one meatball at a time and use your hand to form it around skewer and compact. Now you can either choose to bake the meatballs along with the green beans or cook on the grill.
- If grilling, soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning. Place on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes on each side or until done.
- To bake, place baking tray in oven and bake for about 10 minutes, turning halfway through, until completely cooked.
- Combine all ingredients for couscous in a medium bowl and pour in enough boiling water to cover ingredients. Cover and let sit for 5 - 10 minutes until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and serve while warm.
- Divide couscous, green beans, and keftedes amoung 4 plates and top with tzatziki or serve on the side (or both)