Tu B'Shevat is next week! The Jewish New Year for the trees is often celebrated with a Seder consisting of the Seven Species that are described in the Bible as being abundant in Israel. They are wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. Normally I made a meal that has all of these ingredients included. But this year I am going to take a different route. I am making something that tastes like Israel.
I was inspired to make this recipe by seeing a very similar recipe in the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. The turkey meatballs are moist and delicious. The addition of the toasted sesame seeds is so simple, but a fun complex element to the flavor. They are even toddler approved! The chickpea smash is similar to a "lazy" humus without the tahini. The chickpeas are not blended until smooth, but instead just smashed together with a potato masher. I made an Israeli salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, and lemon juice as a side. This dish is tasty and creative enough for a holiday, but also easy enough for a weeknight meal.
Turkey Meatballs and Chickpea Smash
Ingredients for meatballs:
1 lb ground turkey
2/3 cups matzo meal (or bread crumbs)
1/4 cup water
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Ingredients for chickpea smash:
2 cans (15oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, diced
1 Tablespoon capers
2 teaspoons sumac
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Handful of parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients for meatballs in a bowl. Add enough oil to coat a large frying pan. With wet hands, make golf-ball size meat balls and brown in frying pan. Transfer to baking dish. Finish cooking meatballs in the oven, about 10 - 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for the chickpea smash, except the parsley. With a potato smasher or a large fork, smash together, leaving it textured. Mix in chopped parsley. Depending on your desired presentation, you can sprinkle some more sumac on top.