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Menu Monday 2: Hot Köfte, Cool Veggies, & Sweet Fruits

Menu Monday! Finally, an excuse to get excited about Monday! At least, for me… Woo! It’s clear that summer has taken up residence in D.C. and does not mean to leave till, oh, the end of September. *sigh* But with the heat, humidity, and bump in homicides we also get barbeques, picnics, camping expeditons, and trips to the beach.

In that carefree al fresco vein, here’s a quick menu of spicy-savory lamb meatballs, accompanied by succulent early-summer tomatoes and broccoli topped with a bright olive dressing, warmed flatbreads, and creamy yogurt swirled with spring’s last rhubarb and summer’s first strawberries. Perfect for an evening by the beach… or balcony.

Menu Monday 2: Hot Köfte, Cool Veggies, & Sweet Fruits

Lamb Köfte
This recipe is for the stovetop, but could easily be done on a lightly oiled grill to great effect, I’m sure–particularly if you’ve got some of those broad, flat skewers designed for grilling such mixtures.

Tomatoes & Broccoli w/ Broken Olive Vinaigrette (below)
This irresponsibly easy little dressing-tapenade-relish-thing is just the thing to point up the season’s first (not quite perfect) tomatoes. And its tasty juices collect temptingly in the heads of briefly steamed broccoli–providing a lightning quick and colorful side. It’s a perfect compliment to the spicy richness of the köfte–particularly wrapped up in a bit of flatbread.

Warm them briefly under the broiler or on the stovetop if you’ve got gas. It took me forever to figure out that most pitas and flatbreads really just don’t taste DONE until I heat them up a bit.

Greek Yogurt w/ Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote
Serve in pretty dessert dishes and bask in the knowledge that this is a supremely tasty sweet that’s actually pretty healthy.

Broken Olive Vinaigrette
Yield: 1/2 c

1/4 c Italian-style oil-cured black olives
1 green onion
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs white wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Pit and mince the olives. Trim the green onion, halve it lengthwise, and then slice it thinly. Combine olives, green onion, lemon juice, and vinegar in a small bowl and let set for a few minutes. Add the pepper to taste. Add the olive oil and mix in vigorously with a fork. It won’t emulsify fully (hence the “broken”), but that’s all to the good here. Drizzle over sliced tomatoes, lightly blanched broccoli, or whatever vegetables your whimsy dictates.

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