Break out of your food routine and heat up your barbecue menu with a little help from these grilled lamb koftas. In what basically shakes out to be a Middle Eastern style burger without the bun, these juicy kabobs are made with a ton of fresh herbs and a dash of spice, before being threaded on a skewer and grilled.

Serve it as I did here with an unbelievably fresh-tasting tabbouleh salad and you’ve got a pretty stunning summer meal. While I’m aware my variation on this salad may get tabbouleh enthusi-asts furling their brow, the addition of torn grilled pitas and crunchy baked chickpeas is beyond worth venturing off the path. I fact, you just may never go back.

You can also use the same lamb mixture and shape it into mini patties for a take on the ultimate summer favourite — the almighty slider. Smear on a spoonful of hummus, some thinly sliced cucumber and stack it for an open-faced version, or open them up and stuff them, pocket style.

Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Makes: 9 skewers or sliders

Grilled-Lamb-Kofka

Grilled Lamb Kofta Kebabs with Tabbouleh Salad

Ingredients:
1 lbs ground lamb
1/2 large onion, minced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp harissa
1 tsp ground cumin
Black pepper

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine ground lamb with the rest of the ingredients. Form 1/4 cup-sized portions into an oval shape and thread onto a metal or soaked bamboo skewer. Chill in fridge for at least 1 hour.
2. Cook on a medium-heat barbecue and grill lamb kofta kabobs until cooked through, about 6-8 minutes.

Tabbouleh Salad with Baked Chickpeas and Grilled Pita

Ingredients:
1/2 cup bulgur
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
1 cup cucumber, chopped
1 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup mint, chopped
1/3 red onion, minced
1/4 cup sliced black olives (optional)
1/2 cup (125 ml) lemon juice
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
Sea salt & black pepper to taste
2 large pieces of pita bread, grilled
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp harissa
Olive oil

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse and drain chickpeas and pat dry. Toss with olive oil and harissa and bake for 40-50 minutes, stirring once at halfway point.
2. Brush pita bread with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Grill on both sides until crispy.
3. Combine bulgur and 1 cup warm water in a bowl and let soak for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse thoroughly and transfer to a large bowl along with remaining ingredients and toss to combine.

Lamb-Kofka-Sliders-Mini-Pita

Lamb Kofta Sliders

Ingredients:
1 lbs ground lamb
1/2 large onion, minced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp harissa
1 tsp ground cumin
black pepper

Mini pitas:
1/2 cup hummus
1/2 large cucumber, sliced thin

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, combine ground lamb with the rest of the ingredients. Form into 1/3 cup-sized patties. Chill in fridge for at least 1 hour.
2. Cook on a medium-heat barbecue and grill lamb kofta sliders until cooked through, about 6-8 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, brush mini pitas with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Grill until warmed through.
4. Spread pitas with hummus and top with sliced cucumber and lamb. Garnish with more chopped parsley and a sprinkle of harissa.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s 1 Dish, 2 Ways column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca. For more recipe ideas, visit bonniemo.ca, or catch her on Instagram @bonniemo.