Lamb & Walnut Kofta Kebab Lettuce Wraps Served with Smoked Eggplant & Walnut Puree


    Lamb Kofta
    1 lb. lamb, 80% lean/ 20% fat, ground
    0.5 cup California walnuts, finely chopped
    0.5 cup onion, white, grated
    1 tbsp garlic, minced
    3 tbsp mint, fresh, chopped
    1 tbsp sumac
    0.5 tbsp cumin, whole, toasted, ground
    0.5 tbsp coriander, whole, toasted, ground
    1 tsp pepper, black, whole, toasted, ground
    1 tbsp Worcestershire
    2 tsp sea salt
    Smoked Eggplant & Walnut Puree
    3 eggplants, medium-size
    0.5 cup walnut paste (California walnuts ground to a paste)
    0.25 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
    1.5 tsp garlic cloves, chopped
    0.5 tsp Aleppo pepper, ground
    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    0.5 cup Italian parsley, packed, chopped
    Salad Wraps
    1 large head butter leaf lettuce, leaves separated and trimmed into 3-inch diameter cups (about 18 leaves)
    1 bunch mint
    1 bunch Italian parsley
    1 cup Greek yoghurt, low-fat
    1 cup tomatoes, cherry, halved
    1 cup pomegranate seeds


    Get the grill fired up for this exotic kebab treat!


    Lamb Kofta

    In clean container, combine all kofta ingredients, making sure to mix well until mixture is slightly pasty in texture. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes up to 2 hours to marinate. Preheat chargrill to 550°F to 600°F.

    Remove from refrigerator. Portion 3 ½-ounce balls. Using a Turkish flat sword, wrap meat balls and slowly work the meat ball down the sword to form a sausage around the sword about 5 to 6 inches in length. Repeat with remaining meat balls. Yield: 6, 3 ½-ounce skewers.

    Grill kofta, about 3 to 4 minutes each side, until well done. Remove from grill and set aside and keep warm.

    Smoked Eggplant & Walnut Puree

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Prick eggplants, then char the outsides over flames until they’re black.

    Roast in the oven for 1 to 1½ hours until centers of the eggplants are fully cooked or soft. Cool and then scoop out the pulp.

    Combine the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and puree with the eggplant. Season to taste with sea salt. Garnish with additional olive oil, sumac, and toasted, chopped walnuts. Yield: 2 cups. (*About 1/3 cup per serving)


    Arrange Lamb Kofta and Smoked Eggplant Puree with lettuce cups, mint, parsley, cherry tomatoes, Greek yogurt and pomegranate seeds for hand assembly.