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Grilled Kofta and Tomato Salad

This refreshing grilled tomato salad, infused with feta and spices, serves as a perfect side dish or a light meal on its own. Ideal for summer gatherings or as a hearty complement to your main course, it pairs wonderfully with pita or fresh bread.

Grilled Kofta, a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, combines spiced ground beef with aromatic herbs, grilled to perfection. Opting for a charcoal grill imbues these skewers with a distinctive smoky flavor, though a gas grill offers convenience and control. This recipe not only walks you through the preparation steps but also highlights the importance of using wide skewers for even cooking and stability.

Grilled Kofta and Tomato Salad

Total Time:

1hrs 55mins

Prep:

30mins

Marinade:

1hrs

Cook:

25mins

Ingredients

  • Tomato Salad
  • 6-8 tomatoes
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 green peppers, finely sliced
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp oregano, dried or fresh
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • pita or bread, for serving
  • Grilled Kofta
  • 500 grams medium ground beef
  • 1 small onion, grated or finely chopped in a food processor
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp black pepper

How to Make It

Tomato Salad

1.

Prepare the Tomatoes and Peppers: Begin by washing the tomatoes and green peppers. Chop the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and thinly slice the green peppers.

2.

Preheat the Grill: Heat your grill to a high setting, preparing it for direct cooking. Assemble the Salad: On a large pan or a metal tray, spread out the chopped tomatoes and sliced green peppers. Evenly sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese over the top. Drizzle the olive oil generously over the vegetables, ensuring they are well-coated. Season with freshly ground pepper and oregano, distributing them evenly over the ingredients.

3.

Grill the Salad: Place the pan or tray on the grill. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender and have released their juices, but before the liquid has completely evaporated. Watch closely to avoid burning and ensure the feta is nicely warmed through.

4.

Serve: Carefully remove the pan or tray from the grill. Allow it to cool for a few minutes. Serve the grilled tomato salad warm with pita bread or your choice of fresh bread on the side. This dish is best enjoyed immediately, capturing the blend of warm, roasted flavors and the richness of the olive oil and feta.

Grilled Kofta

1.

Prepare the Onion: Choose either to grate the onion or finely chop it in a food processor. This step is crucial to ensure the onion blends well with the meat, enhancing flavor without adding excess moisture.

2.

Mix the Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, add the prepared onion, ground beef, parsley, coriander, oregano, salt, cumin, crushed garlic, and black pepper. Knead with your hands until the mixture becomes a cohesive paste. This kneading process helps the proteins bind together, ensuring the koftas will hold their shape around the skewers. Refrigerate: Place the mixture in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the mixture to firm up, making it easier to handle.

3.

Form the Koftas: Wet your hands slightly to prevent sticking, then take portions of the meat mixture and form them around wide skewers into sausage shapes. The Importance of Wide Skewers: Wide skewers provide more surface area to secure the meat, preventing it from rotating or sliding off as you turn them on the grill. This is especially beneficial for ensuring even cooking and ease of handling.

4.

Chill Again: After skewering the meat, place the koftas back in the refrigerator for an additional 30 minutes to firm up, ensuring they remain intact during the grilling process. Heat the Grill: For charcoal grills, light the coals and let them burn until covered with gray ash, then spread them out evenly. For gas grills, preheat to a medium-high setting. Grill the Koftas: Cook the skewers on the preheated grill for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until thoroughly cooked and nicely charred on the outside. The direct heat will sear the meat, locking in flavors and juices.

5.

Rest and Serve: Let the koftas rest for a few minutes off the grill before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring each bite is juicy and flavorful.

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