This is a super fast and easy weeknight meal that's full of vegetables and protein, with a creamy yogurt sauce to top it all off. I'm a huge fan of using a microplane to cut down on time, and you'll often find me using it for grating garlic in addition to vegetables like cucumber, as I do in this recipe. It cuts down on time but still gives you a smooth consistency and that fresh cucumber flavor, so you can make a quick, tasty tzatziki sauce for the dish.
You can definitely use ground chicken instead of lamb in this recipe. Feel free to play around with the spices if you're out of coriander or don't want the spicy kick of cayenne pepper.
While I find shucking peas to be relaxing and almost meditative, if you're in a time crunch or fresh peas aren't in season, then frozen peas are a great substitute. If peas or asparagus aren't available, you can also toy with the recipe and substitute other quick-cooking vegetables.
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:15 minutes
- 1 (16 ounce) container non-fat or 2% Greek yogurt
- ½ large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and grated with a microplane grater
- 1 clove garlic, grated with a microplane grater (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon zest and 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 white or whole wheat pitas
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 1/4 pounds ground lamb
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ cup fresh or frozen English peas
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
- ½ cup fresh mint, thinly sliced
Combine the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and lime juice in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Toast the pitas in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. Set aside on serving plates and cover with a clean dish towel to keep warm.
In the same skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, cooking until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the lamb and stir until beginning to cook through and is still light pink, about 3 minutes. Add the peas and asparagus, season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp and lamb is completely cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve the lamb mixture with pita, tzatziki, and chopped mint.