Moroccan Meatballs with Herbed Yogurt

a pan of moroccan meatballs with herbed yogurt
moroccan meatballs photo by jenn kosar

Rehydrated dried apricots add sweetness and texture to these meatballs.


For the meatballs: 

4 to 5 dried apricots
½ lb. ground chuck
½ lb. ground lamb
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup minced onion
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp. chopped preserved lemon 
1 Tbsp. ras el hanout 
1 tsp. kosher salt 
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup herbed yogurt, for serving (recipe follows)

For the herbed yogurt: 
1 cup Greek yogurt or labneh
½ cup cilantro
½ cup parsley
¼ cup mint
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 to 4 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


For the meatballs: 

• In a small bowl, cover the apricots with boiling water. Let sit at least 10 minutes to rehydrate, then drain and coarsely chop. 

• In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, ground lamb, cilantro, onion, egg, preserved lemon, ras el hanout, salt, pepper and reserved apricots. Using your hands, mix just until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Be careful not to overwork the mixture or the meatballs will be tough. 

• Form into 16 1-ounce balls, place on a lined baking sheet and refrigerate 1 hour.

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

• Bake the meatballs until the internal temperature is 160 degrees, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with foil to keep warm before serving.

• To serve, spread the herbed yogurt on a platter and place the meatballs on top.

For the herbed yogurt: 

• Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add additional oil until it reaches the desired consistency.

Tags : Yogurt , Lamb , Mediterranean , Middle Eastern