Lamb Meatballs & Romesco Sauce
The smoky, gently spicy sauce is a wonderful complement to these surprising meatballs. Great as an appetizer or to serve for a cocktail party. Enjoy!
INGREDIENTS FOR SAUCE
- ½ tablespoon chopped walnuts
- 1 small red bell pepper, halved, seeds removed
- 1 medium tomato, cored
- 1 garlic clove, unpeeled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder or chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
INGREDIENTS FOR MEATBALLS
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds (or substitute with ½ teaspoon & a pinch ground)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or substitute with 1 ¼ teaspoons ground)
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- 1 cup firmly packed parsley leaves with tender stems
- 1 cup firmly packed cilantro leaves with tender stems (substitute more parsley if desired)
- 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1½ teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
PREPARATION FOR SAUCE
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Toss bell pepper, tomato and garlic with oil on a clean rimmed baking sheet and roust until browned and softened, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool.
- Remove skin from bell pepper, tomato and garlic; discard. Puree walnuts, bell pepper, tomato, garlic, oil, vinegar, chipotle, parsley and paprika in a food processor until finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper.
PREPARATION FOR MEATBALLS
- Toast coriander seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, swirling pan often and adding cumin seeds during the last 30 seconds, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then finely grind in spice mill or with mortar and pestle.
- Pulse onion, cilantro, parsley and 1 ½ teaspoons salt in a food processor until finely chopped.
- Transfer to a large kitchen towel. Gather ends of towel in each hand and twist over sink, wringing out as much liquid as possible.
- Mix onion mixture, spice mixture, egg yolk, paprika, black pepper, cayenne, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl to combine.
- Gently fold lamb into spice mixture to evenly distribute (don’t over mix).
- Form meat mixture into 1 ½-inch balls, you should have 16
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high. Working in 2 batches, cook meatballs turning occasionally, until browned all over and cooked through, 5-8 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve with walnut romesco sauce.