Marinated lamb with broad beans and tomato keftedes

In Maria Elia's mezze recipe, keftedes, usually made with meat, are made with tomatoes and cheese and served with spiced lamb kebabs
By Maria Elia
Marinated lamb with broad beans and tomato keftedes
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes plus 2 hours or overnight marinating
  • Effort: medium


For the lamb

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 800 g lamb fillets, trimmed of excess fat, cut into about 3cm cubes

For the braised broad beans

  • 1 kg fresh broad beans, shelled
  • 90 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • pinch caster sugar
  • 300 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • small bunch dill, chopped
  • handful pea shoots, optional

For the tomato keftedes

  • 4 vine-ripened plum tomatoes, peeled and finely choppedo
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 75 g feta cheese, freshly grated
  • 40 g parmesan, freshly grated
  • 85-100 g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 100 g plain flour
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying

For the tahini dip

  • 150 g Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 rounded tbsp tahini, paste
  • pinch ground cumin
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only

To serve

  • mini pitta or Turkish bread
  • chopped iceberg lettuce
  • cucumber, slices
  • tomatoes, slices
  • red onions, slices

Tips and Suggestions

If you cant get fresh broad beans use frozen broad beans instead.

Lamb fillet is a tender, lean cut of lamb, so is quick to cook and can be treated like beef fillet. Taken from the best end, or loin, it's well-trimmed and has little fat.

When cooking on the griddle, make sure the griddle pan is really hot before placing the food on it.


1. For the lamb: crush the garlic with the sea salt using a pestle and mortar, then mix it with and pinch of black pepper and the remaining ingredients, except the lamb. Smear this mixture over the meat and leave to marinate for 2 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator. Soak 4 wooden skewers in water.

2. For the braised broad beans: peel off the outer skins from the broad beans, if preferred. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté or frying pan, tip in the onion then gently fry until softened. Stir in the garlic, sugar and a pinch of sea salt and cook for a further 2 minutes. Tip in the beans, pour in the stock and simmer over a low heat for about 20 minutes, or until the beans are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and dill then season with salt and pepper if needed. Scatter in the pea shoots if using and leave to marinate for 1 hour.

4. Remove the wooden skewers from the water and skewer the cubes of lamb on each one. Preheat a griddle pan, lay the lamb skewers on the hot pan and cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Remove and leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

3. For the tomato keftedes: mix together the tomatoes, onion, chopped mint and dill, sugar, cinnamon, feta, parmesan and breadcrumbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in enough of the beaten eggs to combine, then chill for 30 minutes to allow the mixture to set. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Shape the keftedes mixture into walnut-sized balls, then coat in the flour, shaking off the excess. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or a large, heavy-based saucepan to 180C. Fry the keftedes in the oil in batches for about 2-3 minutes until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

5. Mix the tahini dip ingredients together, taste and adjust seasoning to suit. Serve the keftedes in mini pitta or Turkish bread on a bed of chopped iceberg, slices of cucumber, tomatoes and red onion, along with the braised broad beans and the tahini dip.

Rate This Recipe