middle eastern meatballs with hummus

middle eastern meatballs with hummus and rice 2

Earlier this week, I wanted hummus. So I made some… 4.89 pounds of it, to be exact (I promise I’ll return your kitchen scale someday, dad). I didn’t mean to make that much, but I threw a bunch of chickpeas in a bowl to soak the night before and I was determined to use them all. Even though I really wanted hummus, I didn’t have any specific plans for it. We don’t keep enough bread and vegetables on hand to eat 5 pounds of it just as a snack, so I brainstormed other ideas. I really enjoy hummus in wraps, so why not use it as a sauce? First, I made one of my go-to recipes, mujaddara (rice and lentil pilaf with caramelized onions), served with copious amounts of hummus to mix into our bowls. Then I made these super flavorful meatballs, recipe below. Served with rice, it makes for a filling and satisfying meal.

Aaaaaand we still have plenty of leftover hummus. Do you have any ideas how I should use the rest of it? You just might find me sitting in a corner with bread, bowls of olive oil, za’atar, and hummus and eating it all until I explode.

middle eastern meatballs with hummus and rice

Middle Eastern Meatballs
Makes about 40 meatballs

1 small onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon sumac
2 teaspoons dried mint
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 pounds ground lamb or beef (I used a mix of the two)
1 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup tomato sauce

For serving:
hummus
rice
bread
sumac, for sprinkling
thyme, for sprinkling
more sesame seeds, for sprinkling

Pre-heat oven to 450 F.

Heat skillet with oil over medium heat. When hot, add onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic and cook for another 30 or seconds, or until fragrant. Remove from heat and transfer the mixture into a large bowl.

Add the salt, pepper, and spices to the bowl and stir to combine. Add ground meat, bread crumbs, egg, and tomato sauce into the bowl and keep stirring until thoroughly combined. You may need to use your hands.

Use a tablespoon to scoop out enough meat for one ball, form the meat into the shape of a ball with your hands. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lightly brushed with oil. Repeat… about 40 or so more times. You may need to use two baking sheets if you want to bake these all at once.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with hummus, sumac, thyme, more sesame seeds, rice, and/or bread.

Serves 6-8

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