Leslie Meredith's recipes Challenge 1

  • Cook of the Week Challenge contestant Leslie Meredith made Keftedes in Lemon Sauce with Tzatziki and a Mediterranean Green Bean Salad.

    Cook of the Week Challenge contestant Leslie Meredith made Keftedes in Lemon Sauce with Tzatziki and a Mediterranean Green Bean Salad. COURTESY OF LESLIE MEREDITH

Posted10/9/2019 5:00 AM

Keftedes in lemon sauce with tzatziki and a Mediterranean green bean salad

For the tzatziki:


½ a cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated

1 tsp Kosher salt, divided

½ a lemon, zested and juiced

1 clove of garlic, pressed

1 ½ cups plain, full fat, Greek yogurt

¼ cup fresh dill

For the meatballs:

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, pressed

¾ cup ground pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)

1 lb ground beef with ½ lb ground lamb (I used premade beef and pork patties from burgerIM)

1 egg, beaten

½ lemon, juiced and zested

1 tablespoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon each ground black pepper, salt, smoked paprika, ground coriander*

¼ teaspoon each ground cinnamon, cloves*

1/8 teaspoon each ground star anise, cardamom, nutmeg*

2 tablespoons plus a ½ tablespoon each fresh chopped mint, oregano, flat leaf parsley, coriander, dill

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*or use 3 teaspoons of Baharat spice mix

For the green bean salad:

1 lb. green beans, trimmed

2 tablespoons oil-cured black olives, chopped

2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons each fresh dill, fresh oregano, chopped

2 tablespoons roasted pepitas

Salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 garlic clove, pressed

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

7 drops liquid monk fruit

Salt and pepper, to taste

For the lemon sauce:

1 egg yolk

1 ¼ cup chicken stock or broth

2 lemons, juiced and zested

Place cucumber in a strainer over a large bowl and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt. Let drain for 15 minutes, then press to squeeze out moisture. Add to food processor with lemon, garlic, yogurt, dill and remaining salt. Process until smooth then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


Preheat oven to 375. Mix meatball ingredients, reserving the ½ tablespoon of each of the fresh herbs, with your hands in a large mixing bowl. Form into golf ball-sized balls, placing on a parchment-lined baking sheet as you go. Bake for 20 minutes, turning half way for even browning.

While the meatballs are cooking, make the dressing by combining all ingredients in a lidded jar and shaking until emulsified.

Steam the beans in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water for five minutes. Remove to a bowl with tongs, and toss with dressing while still warm. Season with salt and pepper to taste, transfer to serving dish, then top with olives, feta, dill and roasted pepitas.

Drain meatballs on paper towels to remove any excess oil. Heat a skillet over medium heat, and move meatballs to skillet. Whisk the egg yolk with the chicken broth and lemon juice/zest pour over meatballs. Cook until sauce thickens, about five minutes. Move to plate and spoon a little sauce onto meatballs, then sprinkle the reserved fresh herbs on top.

Serve meatballs and green bean salad with the tzatziki, halved cherry tomatoes and toasted flatbread.

Serves 4-5

Leslie Meredith

Recipes are unedited

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