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Lamb may not be on your regular rotation of easy weeknight meals, but we bet it will be after tonight -- ground lamb is affordable, flavorful, and versatile, and it makes for a home run of a weeknight dinner. Pair it with a minty, Greek-inspired salad, and you have yourself the perfect spring feast -- one that comes together in half an hour flat, with minimal cleanup to boot.
Serves 3 to 4
1? pound ground lamb
1/4 ?cup dried currants
1/4 ?cup pine nuts, chopped
2/3 ?cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon dill, chopped
1 cup freekeh, cooked according to package directions and drained well
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
1 small bulb fennel, minced (about 1/2 cup of minced fennel; chop up the fronds if you have them, and add them in, too)
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, minced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped kalamata olives (optional)
We're assuming you have olive oil, 1 egg, paprika, rice wine vinegar, onion powder, Greek yogurt, the juice from half a lemon, salt, and pepper. If not, be sure to add those to your shopping list, too.
1. While the freekeh is cooking, heat your oven to 400° F. Make the yogurt dipping sauce: In a bowl, mix together 1 cup Greek yogurt, the dill, 1 tablespoon mint, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Add another teaspoon of lemon juice if the sauce is too thick. Cover and refrigerate while you continue cooking.
2. Combine the lamb, currants, pine nuts, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, sweet paprika, panko, and egg in a bowl and mix with your hands until everything is dispersed evenly. Roll some of the mixture in your hand to form meatballs a little smaller than a golf ball. Place on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
3. While your lamb meatballs bake, prepare your freekeh salad dressing: Whisk together 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar. Taste, season, and adjust as desired. Combine the ingredients for the salad -- the cooked freekeh, parsley, mint, fennel, scallions, zest from the orange, feta cheese, and kalamata olives. Toss to combine, adding salad dressing a little at a time, tossing until just coated. Serve alongside the lamb meatballs with the chilled yogurt sauce.