For The Love Of Lamb: Best Spring Appetizers

Lamb is a popular entree this time of year, but if you’re hosting social gatherings, consider switching things up. Lamb can star in savory and scrumptious appetizers, perfect for low-stress parties or potluck events. Culinary academy students and home cooks alike will love these lamb takes on popular starters:

Meatballs

Give your diners a bite-sized savory treat by swapping ground beef for lamb in meatballs. You can follow a classic recipe, using meat, eggs and breadc​rumbs, but change the flavor profile. Greek seasonings, like mint and cilantro, pair well with the gamey protein. Garlic, onion, salt and pepper are other staple ingredients for any meatball recipe.

In addition to serving the meat, give your diners a sauce for dunking. Greek yogurt, lemon, cumin, mint and cilantro create a flavorful sauce whose tang complements the more robust lamb.

Sliders

Another twist on a classic snack are lamb sliders. How far they stray from the original beef variety is up to you. For instance, you can load up on Greek influence by using pita instead of buns and tzatziki instead of mayo. Or, keep the buns and swap cheddar for feta and onions.

Aside from creating a killer flavor profile, stack your appetizer with wow factor in mind. Being able to see all of the layers clearly lets diners eat with their eyes first. Nice toothpicks hold sliders together, and a long dish that lines your food is the perfect vessel.

Burger sliders on a tray.Where’s the beef? Replaced with lamb!

Scotch eggs

Scotch eggs consist of a soft boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, breaded and deep fried. Lamb will give the bite an even more umami taste. Instead of going Greek in this appetizer twist, add some spice. The runny egg yolk will mellow out bolder seasoning like paprika, cumin and garlic.

The trick to achieving a perfect scotch egg is to cook it perfectly. The egg cooks twice, so it’s easy to overdo. Instead of letting it boil in hot water, bring the water down to a simmer and leave for a couple of minutes. Then immediately put it in cold water to stop the cooking process.

Sheep in a blanket

Pigs in a blanket is a fun and simple appetizer that you can elevate with lamb. Wrap lamb sausage in homemade puff pastry for a flaky, savory and rich bite. Serve the dish with yogurt or tza​tziki sauce to balance the fatty flavor with some tang. Or, if you want something sweet and acidic with your lamb, serve with ketchup made from scratch.

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