With the holidays behind us, it might be time for a change of pace. This recipe is packed with Mediterranean flavors and good any time of the year.
The sausage is a simple mixture of ground lamb, seasonings, garlic, minced olives and plenty of salt and pepper. Serve Mediterranean or Greek style, with pita bread, a tomato and onion salad, pickles, roasted green peppers, olives and a yogurt and cucumber sauce.
Lamb and Kalamata Olive Sausage
1 pound ground lamb
3 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro or parsley, with stems OK
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 teaspoon mixed Moroccan spice seasonings or Greek spice mixture (you can find these mixtures at Central Market or other well-stocked grocery)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
Garnishes: Yogurt and Cucumber Sauce (Tzatziki) for serving (recipe follows), feta cheese
Put the lamb in a medium-large bowl. Into a food processor put the garlic cloves, onion, cilantro or parsley and olives. Process the vegetables until they are finely minced. Put the chopped mixture into the lamb along with the Moroccan seasoning, salt and pepper. Note: If you want to taste for seasoning, take a little of the lamb mixture and microwave it on high just long enough to cook it through, then taste it and add salt and pepper as needed.
Put a large, nonstick skillet on the stove, add the olive oil and warm the pan. With your hands, make small patties, slightly rounded, from the ground lamb. Put them into the skillet, turn the heat up to medium and let them fry on both sides. Serve with any kind of Middle Eastern foods, such as hummus and pita bread, a lettuce, cucumber and tomato salad, roasted red or green peppers, rice or French fries.
For the Yogurt and Cucumber Sauce (Tzatziki): Use the food processor and put in one small-to-medium peeled cucumber and 2-3 slices of onion, 1 clove garlic, a little parsley. Process them, then take them out and strain them by squeezing in a paper towel or with cheesecloth to get out most of the excess moisture. Stir the cucumber mixture into a cup (8 ounces) of unflavored (plain, not vanilla) yogurt in a bowl. Serve with the lamb sausages as a condiment. You can squeeze a little lemon juice into the sauce if you wish, too.
From Bonnie Walker