Mint Lamb Meatballs with Spelt Risotto and a Coriander Pesto

by Meeta Wolff

This chapter is a free excerpt from What's For Lunch, Honey?.



Food is comfort—it’s my motto! But it must be good, healthy and wholesome, a fusion of flavors to arm us for the next roller coaster ride. To remind us that a good meal brings us together and simply allows us to enjoy each other’s company without worries and fears.

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Food is comfort—it’s my motto! But it must be good, healthy and wholesome, a fusion of flavors to arm us for the next roller coaster ride. To remind us that a good meal brings us together and simply allows us to enjoy each other’s company without worries and fears.

There is an incredible fusion of flavors harmonizing in this one healthy and perfect meal. We love meatballs, and this has a fresh minty taste and the slight hint of cinnamon rounds it up perfectly. The meatballs are made with lean ground lamb, infused with fresh mint leaves and a touch of cinnamon.

They are served with a simple spelt risotto, making it a great and healthy alternative to the classic version. It’s topped with a powerful pesto made of coriander leaves, cashew nuts and ginger. I love it with a good dollop of the pesto, which also works brilliantly as a dip for the meatballs. Delicious!

Ingredients:

For the meatballs
  • 2 small red onions, finely chopped
  • 6 sprigs of mint, finely chopped
  • 500g lean ground lamb
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat breadcrumbs  
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground coriander
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
For the spelt risotto
  • 185g pearled spelt
  • Approx. 1.5 liters water
  • 120ml + 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 3-4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 150ml dry red wine
  • 470ml chicken stock
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
For coriander pesto
  • 60g fresh coriander leaves
  • 80g cashew nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 red chili, seeded and chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Method:

For the meatballs
  1. Mix mint, onions and breadcrumbs with the ground meat. Spice with salt, pepper, cinnamon and coriander.
  1. With slightly moist hands make approx. 12 meatballs with the meat mix.
  1. Heat a good glug of olive oil in a skillet and fry the meatballs on all sides for about 10 minutes until browned and cooked from inside. Keep warm.
For the spelt risotto
  1. Soak the pearled spelt in cold water 20 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly.
  1. Bring 1.5 liters water to boil in medium saucepan. Add the olive oil and the rinsed pearled spelt and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain in strainer and rinse.
  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté for a minute.
  1. Add pearled spelt, stir then add the wine. Simmer until almost all liquid evaporates, stirring frequently—about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, a ladle at a time and simmer until liquid is absorbed and pearled spelt is just tender, stirring frequently—approx. 15 minutes total.
  1. Stir in cheese and 1 tablespoon butter. Season with salt and pepper.
For coriander pesto
  1. Place the coriander leaves, cashew nuts, garlic, ginger and chili in a food processor and process until well blended.
  1. With the food processor running, add olive oil a little at a time until the pesto has a smooth consistency. Add the lime juice and season with salt and black pepper.
  1. Spoon into a sterilized jars and keep in the fridge. Once you’ve opened the jar, pour a thin layer of oil over the top of the pesto to keep it fresh.

Helpful Note:

Peter M
Besides the obviously plump and juicy meatballs, the spelt risotto is genius!
APRIL 7, 2010 1:11:00 AM GMT+02:00
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