During a trip to Istanbul, a friend brought me to an old restaurant to have traditional Turkish meatballs (Köfte) and salad. The front of the restaurant was especially narrow due to the grill station and dessert display that flanked either side of a hallway to entice passersby. Upon walking in, the smell of Köftes hit you as they cooked on a bed of charcoal. Recently, I made this recipe with the ingredients I had on hand which reminded me of a twist on the meal I had in Turkey.
Turkish-Inspired Meatballs, for 2 for a meal or 4 for a light side
1 lb ground lean beef (90%-96%+)
¼ cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 tablespoon fresh coriander
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Serve with a simple salad:
1 container of spring mix lettuce
1-2 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
½ teaspoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt + pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375F with rack in the middle. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl prior to mixing in the beef.
When mixing in the beef, be careful not to over mix. Once all the ingredients are incorporated, roll out your meatballs in roughly tablespoon portion sizes and place on a baking tray. Bake for 15 mins.
Meanwhile, toss the salad with green onions, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper and olive oil to combine. After the meatballs have cooled slightly, place on top of the salad and serve immediately.