Ottolenghi’s Lamb + feta meatballs

Or, as I like to call them, Ottolenghi’s balls, because I’m such a child. A variation on kofte, these are excellent. Served here with rice, griddled strips of courgette (use a veg peeler to cut really thin slices, toss them in a little olive oil, then lay them in a hot dry griddle pan until they start to brown), aubergines (also flung into that same hot pan), and plain yoghurt into which I’ve grated some lemon zest and stirred in chopped dill and a pinch of salt. If you halve the size of the balls then they’d make a great meze addition or a plate of party nibbles.

Ingredients

500g minced lamb

100g feta

2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

2 garlic cloves

10g parsley

45g fresh breadcrumbs

0.5 tsp cinnamon

1tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Put the mince into a large bowl, breaking it up with your fingers, then crumble in the feta, chopped thyme, minced garlic, finely chopped parsley, breadcrumbs, cinnamon, 3/4 tsp free flowing salt and plenty of pepper.
  2. Use your hands to mix the whole lot together well, squishing it to combine.
  3. Form into 18 large or 36 small balls (about 35g or 17g per ball respectively).
  4. Turn on your oven to heat to 200C.
  5. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and when hot, add the meatballs gently and cook for 6 mins or so, turning with care until they are golden brown all over and pretty much cooked.
  6. Place the meatballs on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, drizzle over the pomegranate molasses and bake for 5 mins.
  7. Serve with an extra drizzle of molasses if you’re feeling fancy.

Note: Make the balls ahead of time and chill them in the fridge before cooking, or even cook them up in the pan then reserve them to pop in the oven to heat through when it’s time to eat.

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