Greek meatballs with herb and lemon orzo

  • March 31, 2012 - 3:17 PM


Serves 4.

Note: Orzo is tiny, rice-shaped pasta. Use regular yogurt, not Greek-style yogurt. From "America's Test Kitchen Simple Weeknight Favorites."

• 11/3 c. uncooked orzo (see Note)

• Salt and pepper

• 1 tsp. grated lemon zest

• 1 tbsp. lemon juice

• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint, divided

• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill, divided

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 2 tbsp. plus 1/4 c. olive oil, divided

• 2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into pieces

• 1/3 c. plain yogurt (see Note)

• 11/2 lb. ground beef

• 1 small red onion, grated

• 2 oz. (1/2 c.) feta cheese, crumbled


Bring 3 quarts water to boil in large saucepan. Add orzo and 1 teaspoon salt and cook over medium heat until just tender, about 10 minutes.

Drain and toss with lemon zest and juice, 1 tablespoon mint, 1 tablespoon dill, half of the garlic, and 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, mash bread with yogurt in bowl until smooth. Add beef, onion, remaining garlic, remaining 1 tablespoon mint, remaining 1 tablespoon dill, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Form mixture into 11/2 -inch meatballs (you should have 24).

Heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add meatballs and cook gently, shaking pan and turning meatballs with tongs, until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 7 minutes. Spoon orzo onto serving platter, top with meatballs and sprinkle with feta.

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