Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Israeli Turkey Meatballs and Chickpea Smash

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
1 egg
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
Olive oil

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
Olive oil
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. 

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