End of summer is pistachio harvesting time in and around Attica. Pistachio trees are ideally suited to the dry climate of the area and, although introduced relatively recently – since the late 19th century- thrive. There are not a lot of savoury dishes you can do with pistachios, but this kebab worked very well.
For the Kebabs
- 800g ground beef
- 30g rusk crumbs
- 120g shelled unsalted pistachios, coarsely ground
- 130g onion, very finely chopped
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp olive oil (plus some more for brushing the kebabs)
For the Pistachio sauce
- 100g shelled unsalted pistachios
- 30g white bread, crusts removed, soaked in water and squeezed (1 or 2 days old sourdough bread works better for this recipe)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 6 Tbsp tap water
- 2 tomatoes, cut in half and finely sliced
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 handful of coriander leaves, chopped
- sea salt
- a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- warm pita breads or tortilla wraps
For the pistachio sauce place the pistachios and the squeezed bread in a food processor and combine well. Add the garlic, lemon juice and olive oil and blend.Thin the sauce with 6 tablespoons (or more) of water and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until needed. Bring to room temperature before serving.
For the tomato salad, place the sliced tomatoes and onions in a bowl. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander and some salt. Drizzle with some olive oil. Set aside.
To prepare the kebabs, place the ground beef in a bowl, and stir in the rest of the kebab ingredients. Wet your hands and knead well to a smooth paste.Cover and let rest for about 10-15 minutes.
Preheat your oven grill to high temperature.
To shape the kebabs take a handful of the meat mixture (about 80g) and make it into a shape of a flat oblong sausage. As soon as the kebabs are shaped,brush them with olive oil and place them on a greased rack. (I use a roasting pan with a rack).
Broil them under the hot grill for about 6 -8 minutes, turning over half way and brushing them with olive oil, until they are golden and cooked through.
Serve immediately with the pistachio sauce and the tomato salad on warm pita breads or tortilla wraps.