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MEDITERRANEAN LAMB MEATBALLS OVER PEARL COUSCOUS VEGGIE MELANGE WITH SUN DRIED TOMATO TZATZIKI

Ingredients

The Sun Dried Tomato Tzatziki Sauce:

1, 8.5-ounce jar Bella Sun Luci Julienne Cut Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil with Italian Herbs, drained

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped

1 tablespoon mint, chopped

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup English cucumber, chopped into ¼ dice

The Meatballs:

1, 8.5-ounce jar Bella Sun Luci Julienne Cut Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil with Italian Herbs, drained

1-pound ground lamb meat

1 teaspoon Dish off the Block Ciao Bella Italian Spice Blend

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

3 large garlic cloves, chopped

3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

2 eggs, beaten

¾ cup crumbled feta cheese

¾ cup panko breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons reserved sun dried tomato oil

The Israeli Couscous:

2 tablespoons reserved sun dried tomato oil

1 large onion, chopped

6 garlic cloves, chopped

8-ounces mushrooms, sliced

1 small zucchini, cut into ½” thick half-moons – about 1 ½ cups

1 cup Israeli couscous

1 ½ cups chicken stock

1 cup Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes Julienne-Cut

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped (plus more for garnish)

½ cup crumbled feta cheese (plus more for garnish)

Instructions

Begin by draining the jars of sun dried tomatoes for both the tzatziki sauce and the meatballs in a colander placed over a bowl.  Reserve the drained oil.

To make tzatziki sauce, combine half of the drained tomatoes (1 jar), yogurt, garlic, dill, mint, salt, zest, lemon juice, and cucumber in small bowl and stir to combine.  Refrigerate and let the flavors meld until you are ready to serve.

In a large bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients.  Knead the mixture with your hands until well combined and form into small meatballs, about the size of golf balls.

Place the meatballs in a large, cold non-stick frying pan. Turn the heat on medium and brown meatballs on all sides, turning with tongs as they brown.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 5-7 more minutes until the meatballs are just cooked through and the temperature in the center is 155-160 degrees.  Remove the meatballs from the pan and tent with foil to keep warm while you prepare the couscous.

To make your couscous, add the 2 tablespoons of reserved sun dried tomato oil to the pan drippings from the meatballs.  Cook the onions and garlic over medium high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and zucchini and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released most of their juices and zucchini begins to lightly brown.

Add the couscous to the pan and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes, until the couscous is golden and toasty.  Add the chicken stock, sun dried tomatoes, salt, and black pepper to the pan.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.  Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes until all of the stock is absorbed and couscous is tender.  Just before serving, stir in the mint and feta cheese.

To serve, place a large spoonful of couscous on a plate, top with several meatballs, and a dollop of tzatziki.  Garnish with more mint and feta cheese crumbles.  DEVOUR!

Serves 4 (makes about 14-16 meatballs)

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