Tabouli with Mediterranean Meatballs and Yogurt Dipping Sauce

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I called these “Mediterranean Meatballs” because I don’t think it’s fair to the Turks that anything with garlic, mint and feta in it gets attributed to the Greeks.  I mean, it’s a region, after all.  They’re not eating “Greek Salad” in Turkey; it’s called “Shepherd’s Salad”.  Thank goodness the Liancourt Rocks don’t have a cuisine, right?  What a mess classifying that would be.

This tabouli is enough on it’s own, but I made the meatballs at the last minute to round out dinner and am so glad I did.  My oldest daughter and husband made sure that every forkful had some tabouli, a little bit of meatball and dipping sauce on it.  No matter what national cuisine you decide to classify them with, you should definitely make them.

– Catherine

Tabouli

2 cups bulgur wheat

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 cup of mint, finely chopped

1 6 oz can of black olives, chopped

2 cups of grape tomatoes, diced

1 bunch of scallions, green and light green parts, chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine bulgur wheat,  2 cups of water, lemon juice and 1 tsp of the salt in a large bowl.  Stir and cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Season to taste and serve.

Mediterranean Meatballs

1 lb lean ground beef

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 tsp ground cumin

Handful of fresh mint, chopped

Salt and pepper

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients with hands, careful not to over mix, using olive oil to prevent sticking.  Roll meatballs and place them on a rack on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake at 425° for about 15 minutes, until internal temp reaches 130°.

Yogurt Sauce

1 cup Greek yogurt (I used 0%)

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

Lemon zest from one lemon and 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Handful of fresh mint, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in small bowl and serve with the meatballs.

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