Looking for some exotic inspiration in the meatballs department? Have some cherries in season or in the freezer? Make this now! These are so delicious and warming with a hint of spices like ginger, cinnamon, Aleppo chili in the background. The fresh coriander ties it all together and brightens up the flavors. This is a lovely sweet, spicy and tart dish from the levant region. Aleppo in particular, with versions of it found in Lebanon and Turkey.
Sour cherries are traditionally used, but feel free to substitute with regular cherries and use a little less sugar. I usually use frozen pitted sour cherries because it is always easy to find in my local Picard store in France! One could even use a combination of a few cranberries for sourness and some cherries I suppose! If you don’t have Aleppo chili flakes feel free to use another mild variety of chili flakes.
This is a beautiful dish served either with a few other mezze dishes or simply by itself and a little salad along with some pita or other middle eastern breads.
Traditionally from Syria, these delicious sour cherry meatballs can be found all over the levant region in various forms.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Prep Time 20mins
Cook Time 25mins
1/2cuppearl onions or chopped regular onions
400gsour cherriesfrozen or fresh, pitted
1/4 tsp ground ginger powder
1tsp Aleppo chilli
500minced beef or lamb5-20% fat depending on your preference
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tspfreshly ground black pepper
60ggrated or finely chopped onions
Place butter in a small saucepan, and melt on med-low heat. Add the pearl onions or regular onions, cook till a little soft for 4-5 minutes and translucent. Add all the remaining cherry sauce ingredients bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook on gentle heat for 25 minutes or so. If sauce is too thick add a tablespoon or two of water to get the desired consistancy. Taste for salt, sugar and adjust balance.
Place all meatball ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine well with your hands. Roll into meatballs around 2.5" wide and place on a lightly oiled plate.
Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan, gently roll the meatballs into the skillet and cook for 4 or 5 minutes on one side and turn as they start to go golden. Turn and cook the ohter side on low heat for 10 minutes or so till golden all over.
Pour your cherry sauce over the meatballs and bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer for a minute or two. Roll the pan back and forth to cover the meatballs in sauce.
Drizzle with fresh chopped coriander and pine nuts and serve immediately.
This recipe can be prepped in advance and reheated in a microwave or stove top. Sprinkle on garnishes just before serving.
This is a really healthy delicious burger recipe which tastes out of this world. It is another Ottolenghi recipe I tried out from his book Jersualem. One of the best burger recipes if you ask me. The mix of spices is just perfect. I used only zero fat greek yogurt for the sauce and did not put any sour cream (replace the sour cream quantity with greek yoghurt) so it would be a little lower on calories. The sauce with this burgers is to die for and with summer here every one should try this recipe out on their BBQ too! The egg in this recipe does make it a little more wet and sticky, and it also works really well if you leave the egg out, the choice is yours. A tip is to wet the palm of your hands with a bit of water before you shape each burger, and not so much of the mix will stick to your hands. I also added a two teaspoons of fish sauce to the burger mix for a bit of umami and it works really well. The recipe says to make 18 tiny burgers, these would be perfect as little snacks to serve at a party too, but for a meal I would just make them into bigger burger size patties and they are just perfect. Also the recipe says to finish them off in the oven, but they are fine just finished off on the stove in your frying pan too. The recipe original recipe uses mint and coriander leaves in this, but I always prefer making these with dill and coriander instead. Use the herbs you like!
These also taste great reheated the next day as a snack or with a bit of salad for a nice lite lunch. If you are trying to eat healthier this is a no brainer recipe with full on flavor. Very satisfying indeed!
1 lb / 450 grams ground turkey
1 large zucchini, coarsely grated (scant 2 cups)
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large egg
2 tbsp chopped mint or dill
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper
oil, for searing
Lemon and Sumac Yogurt Sauce
100g sour cream
150 grams Greek yogurt
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1½ tsp olive oil
1 tbsp sumac
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
Combine the ingredient for the sour cream sauce in a small bowl. Stir well. Refrigerate.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs except the sunflower oil
Mix with your hands and then shape into 18 burgers/
Pour enough sunflower oil in a large frying pan to form a lawyer about 1/16 inch thick on the pan bottom. Heat over medium heat until hot, then sear the meatballs in batches on all sides. Cook each batch for about 4 minutes, adding oil as needed until golden brown.
Transfer the seared meatballs to a baking sheet lined with waxed paper in the oven for 5 to7 minutes, or until cooked through.
Serve warm or at room temperature, with sauce spooned over on on the side.