a delicate dusting
on a still green surround.
over a peaceful marsh.
vivid dingy floats alone
confident and proud
splendid farewell to August
of white bread,
of real mayonnaise.
of sea salt.
These lamb patties (or kofta or sliders) have Middle Eastern flavors. Two or three can be popped into a pita pocket, drizzled with garlic sauce and topped with lettuce and tomato. Or individual patties can be tucked into mini hamburger rolls. Make them hamburger size and use regular rolls for an alternative to regular beef burgers. Feta cheese adds an appropriate and tasty topping. They are also good on their own with a side of rice and lentils.
I took tips from a number of recipes for lamb kofka to make the following recipe, so I can’t cite an individual source, but there are many variations on the same theme on line, and in Middle Eastern cookbooks.
1 pound of ground lamb
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. allspice
handful of fresh basil leaves (or parsley)
handful of fresh mint leaves
olive oil for frying
1.Using a food processor helps to get the onion, etc. to an appropriate mince, but you can do it my hand if necessary. In any case, finely mince the onion, garlic, basil and mint.
2. Add the above mixture to a pound of ground lamb. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and allspice.
3. Mix lightly but well with a fork or your hands to combine all ingredients.
4. Form into about 12 meatballs. Flatten the meatballs into patties. Refrigerate for an hour or so.
5. Fry the patties in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Drain on paper towels.
Simple buttermilk/yogurt sauce:
9 TBS buttermilk
1/2 cup Greek or Icelandic yogurt (I use Siggi’s)
1 1/2 TBS olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed and finely minced
kosher salt to taste
Whisk ingredients together. Chill until ready to use.
This sauce is good on roasted vegetables, and lentils and rice, in addition to these lamb patties.
Lure of a tree.
to be climbed.
with innate ability
Friends with bountiful gardens become even more precious in the summer. Especially if your own turf is too shady to support a garden. August in New England is prime time for the zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes that form the basis of this dish. The inspiration comes from a recipe in Sarah Chase’s New England Open House Cookbook; the produce from Linda and Ron’s lush garden.
We had the casserole as a complete meal with brown rice. It could also be used as a side dish with a protein of your choice. Either way, it’s delicious.
3 TBS olive oil
2 medium onions cut into 1/4 inch crescent slices
2 bell peppers (yellow, orange, or red) seeded and cut into 1/2 inch strips
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
2 yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
3 ripe medium tomatoes, chopped (drain off some of the seeds)
3 TBS shredded fresh basil
2 TBS basil pesto (optional, but good)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup combination of jack and cheddar cheeses, shredded
1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and sauté for about 5-6 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two until you can smell the garlic.
2. Add the squashes and tomatoes and cook until they are tender. Around 10-12 minutes.
3. Add the shredded basil and pesto. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Pour the mixture into a 13×9 baking dish. Top with the shredded cheese.
5. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. The casserole should be bubbling with melted cheese on top.
I cooked the vegetables in the morning and put them in the baking dish. I let them cool a bit, covered and refrigerated them. Later in the afternoon, I took the dish out of the refrigerator to bring it back to room temperature. About 45 minutes before dinner, I sprinkled the cheese on top and baked the casserole.