Spicy Middle Eastern Lamb and Kidney Bean Meatballs

Meatballs are a classic comfort food with countless variations from all over the world. Chef Toni Sakaguchi at The Culinary Institute of America shows you how to make these Spicy Middle Eastern Lamb and Kidney Bean Meatballs with Salted Yogurt and Mediterranean Herbs. These melt-in-your-mouth meatballs with vivid notes of Middle Eastern spices make for a fun shared appetizer or entrée.

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Ingredients

SALTED YOGURT

  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • As needed salt

SPICE PASTE

  • 1 cup onion, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, finely minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted, ground
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1 pinch allspice, ground
  • 1/2 pound kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb, lean
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs or panko
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • As needed salt
  • As needed ground black pepper

HERB SALAD

  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chives, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • As needed Aleppo peppers
  • As needed za’atar

Number of Servings : 6

Serving Size: 4 meatballs

Meatballs are a classic comfort food with countless variations from all over the world. Chef Toni Sakaguchi at The Culinary Institute of America shows you how to make these Spicy Middle Eastern Lamb and Kidney Bean Meatballs with Salted Yogurt and Mediterranean Herbs. These melt-in-your-mouth meatballs with vivid notes of Middle Eastern spices make for a fun shared appetizer or entrée.

Directions

FOR THE SALTED YOGURT:

  1. Combine the yogurt and lemon zest in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

FOR THE SPICE PASTE:

  1. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the canola oil, onions, and carrots. Let cook until slightly caramelized and cooked through. Add the garlic, ginger, and spices. Season with salt and pepper. Cool.
  2. Coarsely chop the kidney beans.
  3. Place the ground lamb in a large bowl, add cooled onion/garlic mixture, cilantro, parsley, zest, green onions, breadcrumbs, and egg. Mix well into a homogenous mixture. Gently mix in the kidney beans. Season with salt and pepper. Cook off a test meatball and adjust the seasoning with more salt if necessary.
  4. Form into 1-inch meatballs, and place the meatballs on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about one hour.
  5. Preheat a 425°F oven.
  6. Roast the meatballs in the oven until caramelized and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

FOR THE HERB SALAD:

  1. Place the herbs in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with lemon and extra virgin olive oil.

TO SERVE:

  1. Spread a layer of yogurt on the platter.
  2. Top with meatballs, place the herb salad on top, drizzle with the juices in the bottom of the bowl, and sprinkle with za’atar and Aleppo pepper.

Recipe by Chef Barbara Alexander