Kafta or Kofta (depending where you’re from) is simply minced meat mixed with spices and vegetables. There are so many variations and this “meatloaf” cousin dates back to the Ottoman times. Everyone makes it a different way and there is really no wrong way as long as it’s tasty.
On days when I am so busy and time for cooking is limited, I reach for this recipe. It is really delicious and the mixture can be shaped however you want. I like to spread it on top of a whole wheat pita, drizzle some olive oil and grill it. I use the stove top grill for this and place the sandwich face down. It will work just as nicely in a broiler. It only takes a few minutes to be ready and is very satisfying. If you don’t like hummus – I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t, you can slice some juicy heirloom tomatoes instead.
I begin by combining a roughly chopped onion, garlic, walnuts, parsley, mint and about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a food processor, until it’s a chunky paste and well blended. Then add the bison, spices, salt and pepper and pulse a few times until blended. The kafta mixture is now ready to be used.
For the sandwich, peel open a pita bread, and spread about 3 tablespoons of the mixture on the inside part, or as much as you’d like. Spread all around the edges to cover the entire bread surface. Brush a little olive oil on top, and place face down on the grill. Leave untouched for about 3 minutes, then check for doneness. Depending on preference, leave another couple of minutes and it’s ready. Serve warm topped with Hummus and baby Arugula with a pinch of sumac or a squeeze of lemon juice.
1 lb ground Bison
1 bunch parsley
1 medium onion
2-3 sprigs fresh mint
1/4 cup walnuts (optional)
2 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt or to taste
1 tsp sweet pepper, ground *
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp 7 spice mix, ground*
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
* These spices are found at mediterranean stores easily. They are staples of the Levantine pantry.
Hummus recipe is found here.