I was a somewhat picky eater as a kid, so I pat myself on the back for raising two kids who are both much more open to trying new friends than their mother had been at their age. Case in point: lamb.
My husband and I both adore lamb, and bought some kofta skewers at Whole Foods on the Cape one summer to grill up for dinner. I got chicken for the kids, assuming they wouldn’t want anything to do with the lamb. They both asked to try it, though, and then (to the adults’ dismay) wound up eating most of it!
Lamb is a great protein source that’s high in vitamins and minerals. I love it paired with Mediterranean flavors, so this Food & Wine recipe really sounded appealing. My husband is a huge fan of tzatziki and the yogurt sauce here really mimics it. I’ve made these quesadillas a couple of times now, and have decided I like to include a little of the sauce IN the quesadillas and then serve the rest on the side. I also veered from the original recipe by including some diced tomato for added color, flavor and nutrition.
I made these quesadillas gluten-free thanks to Udi’s tortillas. Gluten-free tortillas are notoriously fragile, so though I was able to flip them we still found our dinner easiest to eat with a knife and fork.
Lamb & Two-Cheese Quesadillas
adapted from Food & Wine
2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 lb. lean ground lamb
1 tbs. very finely chopped oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup 2% fat plain Greek yogurt
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 medium seedless cucumber (about 3/4 pound), coarsely shredded
Four 10-inch gluten-free tortillas
2 small roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 pound mozzarella, sliced
1/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
Preheat the oven to 225°;. In a large skillet, heat the 2 tbs. of olive oil until nearly smoking. Add the ground lamb, oregano and 2 of the minced garlic cloves, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Spoon some of the fat out of the skillet.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the yogurt with the remaining minced garlic and 2 of the scallions and season with salt and pepper. Working over the sink, squeeze the shredded cucumber until it is fairly dry, then fold the cucumber into the yogurt.
Preheat a large cast-iron griddle. Brush the tortillas on 1 side with olive oil. Place 2 tortillas, oiled side down, on the griddle. Top each with a little yogurt sauce, one-fourth of the mozzarella, feta, a few slices of tomato and lamb and cook over moderate heat until the tortillas are lightly browned. Fold the tortillas in half and cook, flipping once, until browned and crisp and the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes.
Transfer the quesadillas to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you make the rest. Transfer the quesadillas to a platter, top with the remaining cucumber-yogurt sauce and the remaining sliced scallion and serve immediately.