After a lovely vacation and then a crazy week back at work, I’m finally sharing a new recipe. I have a confession: even though I love my Big Green Egg, I sometimes cheat. When the temperature is crazy hot, I’m short on time, or I’ve found a recipe that just requires a quick cook at high temp, then I turn to my old gas grill. Sure, it’s not as fulfilling as a long, slow smoke but sometimes you just need to get the job done, you know?
This is one of those recipes you can whip up pretty quickly and impress the friends and family. And who doesn’t need a few of those? It’s pretty much straight out of Weber’s Way to Grill cookbook, where they call it “Lamb Meatballs with Chopped Salad and Minted Yogurt.” I renamed it for several reasons. First, no me gusta lamb. You may like it and, if so, go for it. I substituted ground beef. Second, the chopped salad is really more of a relish. Third, minted yogurt tastes really good but sounds really gross so why call attention to it? And finally, this is a sandwich which is totally omitted in the original title. It’s all about marketing, my friends.
Mediterranean Meatball Flatbreads
Prep time: 30 minutes
Grill on Direct Medium heat (about 400 degrees)
Start with the relish… In a non-reactive bowl, whisk 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tsp lemon zest, and 2 tsp minced garlic.
Dice up and add to the bowl in 3 seeded plum tomatoes, 1/2 English cucumber, and 1/2 a small red onion. Throw in 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese, 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley (or basil), 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Stir ingredients and set aside.
For the meatballs, gently mix 1.5 lbs ground beef, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 2 tsps ground cumin, 1 tsp kosher salt, and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper. Form into 24 meatballs. [Note: Don’t go too lean on your ground beef or your meatballs will be dry.]
Now heat that grill up to about 400 degrees. While it’s heating, you can make the yogurt sauce real quick-like by mixing 1.5 cups plain Greek-style yogurt, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. See, wasn’t that easy?
Now, the folks at Weber tell you to put your meatballs on skewers. Despite my better judgement, I followed their instructions. The meatballs sure looked pretty on the grill this way:
But as soon as I went to turn them, it was a meatball catastrophe. Save yourself the trouble of having to apologize to anyone nearby for your creative use of profanity and just put the meatballs directly on the grill like this:
Cook for about 6 minutes, flipping halfway through. During the last 30 seconds, you can heat your flatbread or naan up on the grill, also. (I went with flatbread based on the fact that it has less carbs — which I tend to reserve for cocktail consumption. Life is all about balance.)
Put four meatballs in each flatbread and top with relish and yogurt sauce like so…
And then fold it over and serve it up. Nom, nom!