A good friend of my recently took me to a Lebanese restaurant and we were delighted with the food and the wide variety of small plates offered. This is my version of our favorite dish we experienced that evening. These lamb meatballs are flavorful little bites that work terrific as an appetizer, to serve at a cocktail party or just to make an easy sandwich, a few in a pita bread with some greek yogurt, sliced cucumber and mint. It’s a perfect party food since you bake the meatballs, they fry in the oven, using significantly less oil with a really easy clean up. The sauce has a bit of a sweet and sour component from the cherry preserves and lemon juice, but with a middle eastern twist. It’s wonderful mix of flavors. You’ve love this dish!
From by the bay wishing you , sweet and sour food memories!
Lamb Meatballs with Tomato Cherry Sauce
Serves 6 to 8
1 pound ground lamb
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
olive oil spray
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well using your hands. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with olive oil spray. Once the meat mixture has chilled for 30 minutes, remove from refrigerator and dampen your hands and form 28 to 30 meatballs approximately 3/4″ diameter. Place on the lined baking tray. Spray top of the meatballs lightly with olive oil and bake in the heated oven for about 30 minutes, until browned and cooked through. Serve with tomato cherry sauce or just plain as a party appetizer with plain greek yogurt and some chopped mint on the side.
Tomato Cherry Sauce
1 cup warm water
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup organic low sodium ketchup
1/4 cup cherry preserves
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup scallions, chopped to garnish lamb meatballs with sauce
Place warm water in a bowl and add dried cherries. Let cherries soak in the water 30 minutes. Strain cherries, adding the water into a medium sauce pan. To this pan add remaining ingredients except cherries and cook on moderate heat stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. Add the cherries and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve with lamb meatballs. Garnish with chopped scallions.