Makes 4 Servings
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total preparation time: 35 minutes
This is nothing more than a fancy hamburger on a skewer with a garlicky yogurt sauce, but boy, is it good. It was a hit with my family the very first time I made it. You’re welcome to top it off with some sauteed peppers and onions, but it’s pretty substantial all by itself.
4-inch piece English cucumber, grated in a food processor or by hand (about 3/4 cup)
1 3/4 cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt or drained regular plain whole-milk yogurt
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
Kosher salt and freshly milled black pepper
2 pounds ground beef, lamb, or turkey
1 1/2 small onions, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon rinsed, dried, and finely chopped fresh oregano or mint or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 pita breads with pockets, warmed
Shredded romaine lettuce for garnish
Preheat a grill or broiler. Combine the cucumber with the yogurt, 1 teaspoon garlic, and salt and pepper to taste; set aside. Combine the beef, onions, eggs, oregano, remaining garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir until the mixture holds together well. Form into 8 ovals about 3 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide and thread them onto metal skewers.
Brush the meatballs with the olive oil and place the skewers on an oiled rack or a broiler pan. Grill or broil 4 inches from the heat source, turning to brown on all sides, until cooked through, about 8 minutes a side. Remove the skewers from the grill or broiler and slip the meatballs off the skewers.
Cut the pita breads in half and tuck a meatball into each half. Serve at once topped with some of the cucumber yogurt sauce and shredded lettuce.