Summer Greek Pitas w/ Lamb Meatballs & Marinated Vegetables

Yesterday was the first day of fall which means it’s officially time to share my final summer recipe!

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while. It’s freakin’ good, don’t get me wrong, but every time I’ve sat down to write lately I’ve just ended up watching an episode of Jane the Virgin. Call it writers block? Or maybe I’m just burnt out from writing essay after essay of how I’d be a good candidate for vet school.

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Anyway, this summer I craved mediterranean food a lot. I found myself stopping by my local CAVA pretty often for lunch breaks. If you don’t know, CAVA is basically the mediterranean sweetgreen/chipotle. They do a pretty bang up job and their spicy lamb meatballs are totally worth the $1.50 extra. But after I noticed my tenth CAVA charge on my card this summer, I figured it was time to figure out how to recreate my order at home.

And then I saw this recipe on Bon Appétit. Those guys always save the day!

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So here’s the breakdown of this dish: You take a warm flatbread, spread some herby tzatziki on top, add fresh marinated vegetables, and top with lamb meatballs. It’s a great lunch and even better option for an al fresco dinner. You know, for those of us who are still getting summer weather.

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Summer Greek Pitas w/ Lamb Meatballs & Marinated Vegetables

for the lamb meatballs

ingredients: 

1 large egg
½ cup panko crumbs
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
1½ tsp salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb. ground lamb

 

directions:

preheat the oven to 425.

combine the egg, panko crumbs, cumin, red pepper flakes, turmeric, parsley, olive oil, salt, and garlic into a large bowl. add the lamb and mix everything together.

gently roll the lamb mixture into small balls. then place them on a rimmed baking sheet. bake the meatballs for 9 minutes.

for the tzatziki sauce

ingredients:

3 persian cucumbers, sliced and quartered
2 pinches of salt
1 cup of plain greek yogurt
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
1/4 cup chopped mint

 

directions:

toss cucumber slices with salt and let rest in a bowl for ~5 minutes. drain the excess liquid.

mix cucumbers, yogurt, oil, lemon juice, and garlic in a fresh bowl. let this mixture sit at room temp for 15 minutes, then discard the crushed garlic piece. stir in mint.

for the vegetables

ingredients:

2 persian cucumbers, sliced
1 large cucumber, sliced and quartered
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4th red onion, thinly sliced
handful of chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped dill

4 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard

directions:

combine cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and herbs in a bowl.

in a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and dijon mustard together. pour the dressing on top of the vegetables and toss to combine. let this sit for about 30 minutes.

to assemble, toast the flatbread. spread a heaping spoonful of tzatziki sauce on the bread. add the vegetables, then a few meatballs. enjoy immediately!

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Mint Iced Coffee

Get ready for the most refreshing iced coffee of your life. An iced coffee that’s doubly invigorating because in addition to lots of caffeine, there’s a hint of mint flavor that just brightens your whole being. Yay!

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It’s been scorching hot here in North Carolina. There has been no option other than to spend every available moment in the pool. And this is the perfect poolside treat. I sip it diligently while I read books or listen to podcasts. Needless to say, it’s been a pretty fantastic summer. I’m sad knowing it’s coming to an end soon!

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Mint Iced Coffee

ingredients:

8 oz strongly brewed coffee that’s been chilled overnight in the fridge

a splash of almond milk

1 cup white granulated sugar

1 cup water

1 bunch of fresh mint leaves

directions:

set aside a few mint leaves for garnish later on. in a small sauce pan, combine the sugar, water, and bunch of mint. bring to boil and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. remove the pan from heat and let sit, covered, for 30 minutes. remove the bunch of mint and discard. pour the syrup through a fine mesh sieve and into a glass jar.

add 2-3 tablespoons of the mint simple syrup to a glass with ice. pour in the coffee & almond milk, then stir to combine. garnish with a couple mint leaves and enjoy immediately!

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“Golden Snitch” Grilled Peaches

I’m writing this from the couch, where I’m posted up watching Goblet of Fire (my least favorite) and icing my recently sprained ankle.

What a way to start the week, right? Really wishing I had Madam Pomfrey here to fix me up.

I’ll keep the pity party light though. Hopefully the sprain will heal quickly. Really, I’m just so grateful it’s not broken. Plus, todays post is too pretty to delay anymore!

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Grilled peaches. Topped with ice cream. With flakey pie crust stars. Could there be a better summer dessert?!

To me, these lil guys look just like golden snitches. With the circular shape, the vibrant orange of the peach, and the sort of golden color of the ice cream, don’t you see it?! You’d just need to add some wings!

The addition of the pie crust stars is, of course, another homage to Harry Potter. They just allude to a little whimsy, a little magic. The dessert is beautiful without them, but adding them in makes the presentation much more Potter-esque. They remind me of the three little stars that were on the corner of every page in the books. 

And finally, to add one more layer of theme in, the ice cream used here is the butterbeer ice cream from this post! The butterscotch flavor and the grilled stone fruit, with the slightly salty pie crust stars? Just like magic. 😉

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Golden Snitch Grilled Peaches

ingredients:

2 ripe peaches, cut in half with the pits removed

1 tsp of unsalted butter

4 scoops of butterbeer ice cream

small stars cut from pie crust dough (use the discarded bits from your latest pie!) and baked till golden

directions:

place a grill pan over medium-high heat. while the pan is heating, rub the butter over the flat parts of the peach halves.

once the grill pan is hot, place the peach halves face down onto it. grill for 7-9 minutes. do not move the peach halves around a lot, or you won’t develop those beautiful grill marks! after 5 minutes, gently raise a peach half up from the grill pan to see how the marks are developing. You can carefully repeat doing so until you see the peaches have developed nice marks and are warm (but not squishy) throughout. remove them from heat and place them face up on serving platter.

add a scoop of butterbeer ice cream to the center of each peach half.

top with pie crust stars. or some sort of oat crumble/granola would be good too!

enjoy immediately. you can eat with a spoon, or you can be bold and just use your hands. i bet y’all know what i’d do! 😉

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