Yotam Ottolenghi does it again! His flavor profiles are unbeatable, and this lamb dish is proof. Meatballs are seared and then simmered in a wonderfully tart, lemony sauce and paired with blanched strips of zucchini, topped with pomegranate seeds and sauteed pine nuts. Recipe is for two.
Check out Ottolengthi's recipes featured in The Guardian (app available). The original recipe for this dish can be found here.
2-1/2 T. olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3/4 lb. ground lamb
1-1/2 T. parsley, finely chopped
3/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 T. fresh thyme, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1 T. capers, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper (or use white pepper if you have it)
2 medium zucchini
Juice of 1 lemon, plus 1 tsp. finely grated zest
8 oz. warm chicken stock
3/4 T. cornflour, whisked with 1 T. water until smooth
2 T. pine nuts
2 T. pomegranate seeds
dill or tarragon leaves, chopped, for garnish (optional)
You will need two small saucepans (one for warming the chicken stock, and one for heating the pine nuts), a medium saucepan (for blanching the zucchini), and a large skillet (for the meatballs and lemon sauce).
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat and fry the onions for about six minutes until golden brown. Remove from the heat and cool. Combine the onions in a large bowl with the lamb, parsley, allspice, thyme, garlic, bread crumbs, capers, 1/2 tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper. Mix well and form into eight meatballs. Return the pan to medium heat with another tablespoon of oil and once hot fry the meatballs for about 12 minutes, turning so they are golden brown all over and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and wipe out the pan.
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Shave the zucchini lengthwise into long, thin strips with a potato peeler or mandoline slicer. When the water is boiling, add the zucchini strips and blanch for 30 seconds, then drain.
In a bowl whisk the eggs until smooth. Then whisk in the lemon juice, zest, 1/4 tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper, then slowly whisk in the warm stock in three or four stages. Whisk in the cornflour paste and transfer mixture to the large skillet and heat on medium-low, stirring constantly, for 7-8 minutes until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Add the meatballs and leave them to warm through for about five minutes, stirring carefully once or twice.
While the meatballs are warming, put a few teaspoons of oil and the pine nuts in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir for 2-3 minutes until the nuts turn golden brown. Remove from heat.
To serve, put the zucchini strips on one side of a shallow bowl, and the meatballs and sauce on the other side. Top with the pine nuts and their oil, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds (and dill or tarragon if using).