I have made these a few times and they deserve to be made more often. The first time I followed the recipe below and they were delicious. I made them again with ground beef instead of turkey and used sour cream as I didn’t have any yogurt; not as perfect but still delicious, particularly with roasted cauliflower (picture at below).
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 cups fresh bread crumbs (I used 1 cup dry)
- 6 dates, pitted and finely chopped
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup French green lentils
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I used fresh orange juice)
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (I used orange zest)
- In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey with the bread crumbs, dates, eggs, sesame seeds, sesame oil, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cover the lentils, garlic, thyme and cinnamon stick with 2 inches of water; bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the lentils and transfer to a bowl; pick out and discard the seasonings. Stir the olive oil and vinegar into the lentils and season with salt and pepper.
- Form the turkey mixture into 1-inch meatballs. Spread the meatballs on a lightly oiled large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned on the bottom and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, blend the yogurt with the lemon juice, mint and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper. Serve the meatballs with the lentils and yogurt.
~Food & Wine, 2004