Cumin-Meatball Pita Sandwiches

  • 2 T. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 T. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 1 T. lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. lean ground lamb or beef
  • 1/2 c. plain yogurt
  • 1/3 c.chopped parsley
  • 1/3 c. peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
  • 3 T. minced onion
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 5 pita breads
  • Additional toppings: fresh arugula, halved grape tomatoes, chopped fresh cucumber

Combine the thyme, crushed red pepper, cumin, lemon zest, a few pinches of sea salt, and a couple of pepper grinds in a bowl. Add in the ground lamb or beef and, using your hands, mix thoroughly.

In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, parsley, diced cucumbers, and minced onion. Set aside for serving.

Heat up a tablespoon or so of canola oil in a large nonstick skillet to medium-high. Meanwhile, slice up any topping ingredients, such tomatoes or cucumbers.

Form fifteen meatballs and cook them in batches, three to four minutes per side. Set aside cooked meatballs on a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Sometimes, I make the meatballs ahead of time and reheat them in a pie plate in a 350° oven. If you wish to do that, cook the meatballs for about 2 minutes per side as they will cook further when reheated.

If desired, warm the pita in the microwave.

Top the pitas with three meatballs per sandwich, the yogurt dressing, and any other desired toppings.

  • Yields: 5 sandwiches
  • Preparation Time:40 minutes
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