lamb & chickpea balls with hummus, olives & semi-dried tomatoes


Good Friday morning - today's recipe is an easy l'il weekend dinner of spiced lamb & chickpea meatballs served with grunty harissa-spiked hummus, intense, soft semi-dried tomatoes and briney black olives - the trick is to get a little bit of everything in one mouthful for the full flavour hit. They're also great for getting even more fibre into the meal and lightening up on the meaty component but have a heartiness well-suited to the autumnal nip in the air. It's a recipe I put together for my friends at Dish so appearing on their website now too here :)

Aaaand - you're probably on the edge of your seat waiting to hear how the 40-day yoga challenge is going (!), so I am happy to report I have good news and bad news - the good news is I did Day 17 in a row this morning (wooo!), the bad news is I also have a slight pulled hamstring (what exactly made me think I could get quite that far down into the splits...?) and a bung big toe. The toe injury wasn't from yoga but from dropping a billion kilo piece of concrete on it yesterday (bloody prop backgrounds) - cue bleedy nail and throbbing pain, so today's yoga effort was fairly artistic and interpretive dance-like when it came to some of the poses. Such fun! Other than that - Hoob is head down bum up in Welly, and Pog is pretty much the same in Melbourne. The exciting things for them currently are that this Saturday night Rich will be featuring in Te Radar on TV One at 8pm (that's the 18th in case you're wanting to tune in) and Henry's latest fabulous column for NZ House & Garden is up at Stuff. (Also he is moving in with the gorgeous William which is bloody lovely too). I'm so proud of my men (was going to say babies, but you know...), they are both going for it and doing brilliant things! Right, time to get to work...have a great weekend :)






3 slices wheatmeal toast bread, crusts removed
1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic
2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
1 egg
1 400g tin chickpeas, drained
450g lamb mince
1/3 cup sesame seeds
olive oil spray

To serve:
mini pita breads
1/2 cup semi dried tomatoes
1/2 cup kalamata olives
1 1/2 cups hummus
3 tbsp dukkah
1/2 cup parsley or coriander leaves
2-3 tbsp harissa paste

Roughly tear the bread, put it in a bowl and cover with milk to soak for 20 minutes. Put the onion, garlic, spices and parsley in a food processor and whiz to combine. Add the soaked bread and egg and pulse to combine. Add the chickpeas and pulse a few times to break up, then add the mince and pulse a few more times. Roll into 20-22 balls - as you go roll each ball very lightly in sesame seeds and place on a tray lined with bakig paper. Refrigerate for half an hour while the oven heats to 200˚C (400˚F). Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper and spray very lightly with olive oil. Cook for 20 minutes, turning once during cooking. Serve immediately with toasty pita breads, hummus, semi-dried tomatoes, olives and coriander. If you want to add a bit more kick to the dish, drop a few tablespoons of harissa paste into the hummus and swirl through. Serves 4-5

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