Kefta Kebabs and Cauliflower with Taratur Sauce

Turkey Kefta
Two new dishes for us tonight: baked cauliflower with a delicious tahini sauce, and ground turkey meatballs with a pomegranate syrup. We had originally planned to make this cauliflower dish (from Lebanese Cuisine) as part of the Lebanese feast last weekend, but there was already way too much food, and so we made an excuse to try again this week. The kebabs are listed as a variation on a turkey burger recipe in the How to Eat Supper cookbook; it isn’t exactly “authentic”, but the kefta was delicious all the same. To round things out, Lisa made baby bok choy sauteed with plenty of onions and garlic.

Lisa says:

This turkey kefta is way different than the versions I had growing up… but you’re right, it’s really good.

Chris says:

Yeah — no pine nuts or bulgur in this one… Yum, I really like the way the cauliflower is cooked — I don’t think I’ve ever had it any other way than raw or steamed. I strayed from the recipe and used Jenn’s baking method instead of the one in the book.

Lisa says:

…that taratur sauce on it rules.

Chris says:

Oooh — the sauce is actually also good on the kefta.

Lisa says:

I like how there’s not really a ton of tahini in it, but the sesame flavor really comes out.

Chris says:

I like how there’s not really a ton of kefta left, because most of it is already in my belly. The flavor really went in.

Turkey Kefta Kebabs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 large tomato, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 lb ground turkey
1/4 dry white wine
pomegranate molasses

Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a nonstick skillet, and cook the onions and tomatoes, sprinkled with salt and pepper, over high heat until the onions start to wilt and brown, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
In a large bowl, add the ground turkey, onion-tomato mix, salt, pepper, coriander, cumin, cilantro, and wine. Mix together well and form into small balls. The mix will feel *really* delicate and sticky.
In the skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, and rotate every 30 seconds or so until all sides are seared. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 150. Serve on a plate and drizzle the pomegranate molasses over the top.

Makes ~14

Cauliflower with Taratur
1 head cauliflower
olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp water
1/3 cup lemon juice
powdered red pepper

Heat the oven to 450F. Break the cauliflower into florets and place into a small bowl. Drizzle a little olive oil over the cauliflower and add a pinch of red pepper. Toss until all the cauliflower is coated, then place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until browned and tender.
In a bowl, mix the crushed garlic and the salt. Add the tahini and blend well, then add the water and mix thoroughly. Add the lemon juice and blend until the sauce is whitish and smooth. Add red pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and serve.

9 responses to “Kefta Kebabs and Cauliflower with Taratur Sauce”

  1. This made awesome leftovers… I put the leftover meatballs in an arabic pita and drizzled some of the tahini sauce over the top — just added a little lettuce and onion and was done.

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  3. This looks like a great recipe! But I’m wondering how did you get the meatballs
    to stay stuck together without egg-don’t meatball recipes usually have this added?
    Please write me? I would like to try this out next weekend.

  4. These were *very* delicate meatballs — you’re right, no egg! They did manage to keep together, though attempting to make perfectly round meatballs would probably not work. You’ll notice the ones in the picture look more like mini-burgers; I formed them into balls, but they were so delicate that they flattened out.

  5. Chris
    I don’t know if it was just a hunch on your part, or not, but did you know that we actually have a kafta dish with tarator sauce on it that gets baked in the oven?
    Your plate looks so good I could eat kilos of it. Literally.

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