A few days of fine weather work wonders for the spirits!  Especially after the long,cold, wet Winter we have shared with so many other hardships.

Looking back through some old recipes, I was checking for some that I thought were appropriate for spring and not too time-consuming to prepare. As I have a rampant growth of apple mint at present, I chose this one as a way to use up some of it.  I was also reminded of my Mum and her wonderful Greek neighbours, who used to often bring her Greek meals, and I remember she loved this one! I am using a much simpler version than the original.
 

INGREDIENTS

Serves 4

500gr minced lamb (available in most supermarkets)
1 brown onion, peeled and grated
1 garlic clove,finely chopped or crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
rind of 1 lemon, finely grated
2 TB finely chopped or shredded mint leaves
Additional mint leaves, for garnish
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 TB olive oil 

RAITA

1 cup Greek yoghurt
1 1/2- 2 TB shredded mint leaves
1 TB lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
 

METHOD

Combine minced lamb, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, chilli, lemon rind and chopped mint, salt in a large bowl. Mix well to combine all ingredients.

Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions. Form into sausage shapes, place on a platter and chill for 15 minutes or until firm.

Meantime, mix together in a bowl all raita ingredients.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over moderate heat. Cook the kofta, turning frequently, for 12-15 minutes or until browned on all sides.

Serve kofta on a salad of very lightly dressed mixed greens*, garnish with fresh mint leaves and serve raita on the side.

A light red wine is a pleasant accompaniment.

NOTE:  It is a good idea to prepare a double quantity of kofta and freeze enough for a second meal. To make preparation easier, check the supermarket shelves for packs of fresh mixed greens.

I am sure that during our "lockdown" phase many people have discovered the pleasures of cooking and be interested in testing recipes they have not cooked before and feeling more adventurous in their culinary choices!
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I know it has been hard to make plans over the past few dreary months, but hopefully families can soon spend time together again and you can show off your newly acquired kitchen skills at family gatherings!

Ann Creber
The Good Life on 3MDR 97.1 FM