Lamb Meatballs with Za’atar Spiced Yogurt

I’m always trying to come up with new and exciting appetizers for my dinner parties and cooking classes and lately I’ve been getting lots of requests for Mediterranean-type meals. Lamb is not a protein choice that I often put on my menus, but I really enjoy lamb meatballs because you are able to add lots of spices to bulk up the flavor profile.

Za’atar seasoning is available at most specialty spice shops (like the Seasoned Home here in Holland). If you are unable to find it, make your own by combining 1 tablespoon each: dried thyme, ground cumin, ground coriander, toasted sesame seeds and sumac + 1/2 teaspoon salt. 

1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine ground lamb, egg, garlic, parsley, cumin, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Roll into 16 meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the meatballs with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes.

3. While the meatballs bake, spread yogurt onto a serving platter and sprinkle with za’atar and lemon zest. Drizzle with olive oil.

4. Place the cooked meatballs onto the yogurt and garnish with parsley. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the meatballs and serve.

Lamb Meatballs with Za’atar Spiced Yogurt
Serves 4 (meal) or 8 (appetizer)

All you need:
1 pound ground lamb
1 egg
2 peeled garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons za’atar seasoning
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil

Fresh lemon juice, for finishing

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine ground lamb, egg, garlic, parsley, cumin, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Roll into 16 meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the meatballs with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes.
3. While the meatballs bake, spread yogurt onto a serving platter and sprinkle with za’atar and lemon zest. Drizzle with olive oil.
4. Place the cooked meatballs onto the yogurt and garnish with parsley. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the meatballs and serve.

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