An earthy dish with Middle Eastern accents featuring rich pan-roasted lamb meatballs over sautéed broccoli rabe and turnips, finished with a tangy sumac yogurt sauce, pickled red onions, and a scattering of fresh herbs.
- 1–1.5 lbs ground lamb
- 1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika
- 1 tablespoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon dill pollen (optional)
- 3 garlic scapes, cut into inch and half batons
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe, cut in half separating the stems from the leaves
- 8 Hakurei turnips, greens removed and reserved, leaving 1/2-inch of stem on turnips, cut turnips lengthwise into quarters
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced, reserve other half for pickled onions
- handful sugar snap peas, trimmed
- about 4–5tablespoons fresh mint, lemon basil, and dill, roughly chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, season as you go
- olive oil, as needed
For the sumac yogurt sauce
- 12 ouncesplain Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp ground sumac
- 1 tbsp harissa paste
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Quick Pickled Onions
- 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- freshly ground pepper
- Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little oil to hot pan followed by the garlic scapes. Sauté until skin starts to blister and turn brown. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
- Pickled onions: In a medium bowl, combine onions, vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside for about 30 minutes, giving onions a quick stir now and again. Onions will release additional liquid as they marinate.
- Make the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine lamb, paprika, mustard powder, dill pollen (if using), a sprinkle of salt, and about 1 tablespoon oil. Using your hands, form into 8 meatballs. Carful not to overwork the meat.
- Sauté greens: Chop broccoli rabe stems into ½-inch pieces and slice greens crosswise into 1- to 2-inch-wide pieces, keeping stems and greens separate. Chop turnip greens crosswise into ½-inch-wide pieces. Return skillet with garlic scapes to stovetop, add broccoli rabe stems, and sauté over medium-high heat for about 1 minute. Add turnip greens and red onions and sauté for 1½–2 minutes. Add broccoli rabe greens, season with salt and pepper, and sauté another 6–7 minutes, until greens have wilted and onions have softened. Remove from heat.
- Sumac yogurt sauce: In a medium bowl, use a spatula to fold together yogurt, sumac, and harissa paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a squirt bottle or airtight container.
- Cook meatballs: Preheat a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, coat bottom of pan with oil and add meatballs. If you don’t hear a sizzle, your pan is not hot enough. Sauté for 8–10 minutes, turning occasionally, until meatballs are brown on all sides and cooked through.
- Preheat a sauté pan to medium-high heat. Add a little oil followed by turnips and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2–3 minutes or until turnips are lightly browned. Add snap peas to pan and sauté for 1 minute to warm them slightly.
- Plate the dish: Make a bed of sautéed greens followed by meatballs and then turnips and snap peas. Drizzle yogurt sauce over the top (or serve it on the side) and sprinkle on three-fourths of the pickled onions (reserving leftovers for Rustic Raw Garden Veggie Salad or another use). Scatter fresh herbs over the top.
- Garlic scapes are the shoots that emerge from developing garlic bulbs; if they aren’t in season, you can sauté some chopped garlic along with the broccoli rabe instead.
- Sumac yogurt sauce, stored in the refrigerator, this sauce will last for a little over a week.
- If your grocery store doesn’t stock sumac (a pleasantly fruity, brick-red spice) or harissa (a fiery hot Tunisian chile paste), you can find them online or at a specialty grocers.
- Category: entrée
- Method: roast, sauté
Keywords: meatballs, lamb meatballs, yogurt sauce