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Mediterranean Lamb Meatballs over Pearl Couscous Veggie Melange with Sun Dried Tomato Tzatziki

Overview

Bright and subtle hints of the freshest flavor and tender sun dried tomatoes are found ribboned throughout each component of this dish! Within each bite bursts of fresh mint, cucumber, lemon, are found through the creamy homemade tzatziki. The hearty meatballs offer a surprising ingredient of cinnamon that makes this meal unforgettable. All served over a combination of pearl couscous and salted vegetables. Chef Pamela Gelsomini impressed the the entire test kitchen with this amazing combination of flavors!

Total Cook Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Print Recipe

Bella Product Used:

Julienne Cut Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil with Italian Herbs - 8.5 oz

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Ingredients

Sun Dried Tomato Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 8.5 oz jar Bella Sun Luci Julienne Cut Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil with Italian Herbs, drained and reserved
  • 1 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 c English cucumber, chopped into ¼ dice

Meatballs

  • 1 8.5 oz jar Bella Sun Luci Julienne Cut Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil with Italian Herbs, drained and reserved
  • 1 lb ground lamb meat
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ c crumbled feta cheese
  • ¾ c panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp reserved sun dried tomato oil

Israeli Couscous

  • 2 tbsp reserved sun dried tomato oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into ½” thick half-moons - about 1 ½ c
  • 1 c Israeli couscous
  • 1 ½ c chicken stock
  • 1 c Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes Julienne Cut in Olive Oil and Italian Herbs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • ½ c crumbled feta cheese (plus more for garnish)

Directions

  1. Begin by draining the jars of sun dried tomatoes for both the tzatziki sauce and the meatballs in a colander placed over a bowl. Reserve the drained oil.
  2. To make tzatziki sauce, combine half of the drained tomatoes( approximately 1 jar), yogurt, garlic, dill, mint, salt, zest, lemon juice, and cucumber in small bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate and let the flavors meld until you are ready to serve.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients. Knead the mixture with your hands until well combined and form into small meatballs, about the size of golf balls.
  4. Place the meatballs in a large, cold non-stick frying pan. Turn the heat on medium and brown meatballs on all sides, turning with tongs as they brown. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 5-7 more minutes until the meatballs are just cooked through and the temperature in the center is 155-160 degrees. Remove the meatballs from the pan and tent with foil to keep warm while you prepare the couscous.
  5. To make your couscous, add the 2 tablespoons of reserved sun dried tomato oil to the pan drippings from the meatballs. Cook the onions and garlic over medium high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and zucchini and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released most of their juices and zucchini begins to lightly brown.
  6. Add the couscous to the pan and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes, until the couscous is golden and toasty. Add the chicken stock, sun dried tomatoes, salt, and black pepper to the pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes until all of the stock is absorbed and couscous is tender. Just before serving, stir in the mint and feta cheese.
  7. To serve, place a large spoonful of couscous on a plate, top with several meatballs, and a dollop of tzatziki. Garnish with more mint and feta cheese crumbles.

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