Yogurt and Parsley Pesto Lamb Kebabs with Feta, Watermelon and Dill Salad

When summer rolls around, your body just naturally craves lighter, fresher foods.  That means chilled soups, salads and grilled meats.  Of course, when I lived in the States and had a nice backyard, that would mean grilling and eating outside.  But I changed countries, and therefore living space, and now I am stuck with a tiny stove top grill and the closest I can get to outside dining is to open up all the windows and let that lovely noise of cars and traffic become the soundtrack to our dinner.  Sounds idyllic, right?

Well, to tell you the truth it isn’t that bad.  But I do miss having a backyard.  Or front yard.  Heck….a porch would do.  But, I don’t.  So, anyhow, my body still craves these types of food, and today I satisfied that craving.  I wanted to use up the Parsley Pesto that I made for the Nicoise Salad the other day.  But, I also wanted to take it down a notch, so I added some greek yogurt to have that wonderful creamy, cooling effect.  So I marinated the lamb in that, it smelled divine.  It really reminded me of green goddess dressings, but with a gorgeous garlicky smell.  And I had some watermelon in the fridge and leftover Feta from those Feta and Walnut Cheese Coins I made a while back.  I have seen in all these magazines the birth of the watermelon salad.  I’d never gotten along to try or make one, but tonight seemed the perfect night for it.  I thought some fresh dill from my garden, balcony would be perfect, although I admit I was a bit scared because I had never actually made it before, it could have turned out to be a disaster!  But it wasn’t thankfully!  The whole meal was really refreshing, healthy, and delicious.  I especially loved the salad.  Who knew watermelon, feta and dill could become best buds?

I pulled out my little cast iron grilly-thing, and made some skewers with the lamb, zucchini and onion.

I thought they looked really nice, all green!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

Serves 4

1.5 kilos of lamb leg, cut into cubes

1 Zucchini, sliced in half, then cubed

1 onion, sliced thickly

Parsley Pesto

1/2 cup greek yogurt

For the Salad:

1/4 of a small watermelon, cubed

1 small package of feta cheese, cubed

2 dill sprigs, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Mix the parsley pesto with the yogurt, and marinate the lamb and vegetables for about an 1.  Pre heat your grill.  Thread onto skewers, and then place them on your grill.  I prefer my lamb a bit charred, you might like yours less, so mine took about 20 minutes…..I’m sorry I can’t give you more precise times, but that’s the fun of grilling right?

In the meantime, mix the watermelon, feta, dill with the lemon juice, oil, and seasonings.  Set aside until your kebabs are ready.

In the end, I think it was a pretty perfect meal!

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

Walnut and Feta Cheese Coins

Today is a holiday here.  It feels much more like Sunday than Monday.  We went to the beach, relaxed a bit and came back home lazy and warmed. Yet one of the things that relaxes me the most is baking.  So, I was on the hunt for an easy option, that didn’t require too much prep or cooking time.

As I have mentioned before, I am trying to use my cookbooks more often.  I looked at my shelf, and picked up my book of Greek food.  Leafing through the pages, I came across this recipe that seemed different, delicious yet super simple.

I liked the combination of walnuts and feta cheese, and after we tried them, even my daughter gave them the stamp of approval, and asked me incredulously, “Did you make these?”  It was a proud mama moment.  Mind you, she is very, very picky.  These will be great to serve with a glass of wine, and some cheese and grapes as an hors d’oeuvres.

I had to tweak the recipe a bit, as when I was making it I found the proportion of butter to flour to be too much.  So below you will find the revised recipe.

Adapted from: “Cocinas del Mundo.  Grecia”  By Susanna Tee

So here’s what you’re going to need:

40g Walnuts

230g flour

salt and pepper

115g butter

115g feta cheese

1 egg, beaten for the glaze

Preheat the oven to 190 celsius (375 F)

Place the walnuts in the food processor, and pulse until finely chopped.  I chopped mine by hand so I could get different sizes.  Place in a bowl and set aside.

Add your flour, salt and pepper to the food processor, and add the butter, chopped into squares.  Pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand.  Add the crumbled feta, the walnuts and mix until you have a smooth dough.

On a clean work surface, dust with flour and place your dough.  With a rolling-pin, roll to about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut with a small biscuit cutter, about 2.5 inches.  Place on a baking sheet, glaze with the beaten egg.

Bake for 10-20 minutes, or until firm and golden brown.  Let cool on a wire rack.  Keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days. (If they last that long!)

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla