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.
Click through on the recipe photos or titles to see (and save and print) the full recipes, but we've also written you a handy grocery list and game plan below.
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 orange 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.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).