I am in love with this dish. Not only is it incredibly beautiful, but it also has an addictive combination of textures and flavours that have me going back for more. Each component is delicious all on its own, but the genius of this dish is that they also perfectly complement each other when taken together.
I really can't say enough good things about it. it's divine, you should try it.
I skipped the sultanas and the nuts, I also used regular yogurt instead of the thicker greek variety. Also, I've made this recipe with beef and lamb, both are delicious.
Spiced Meatballs, Israeli Couscous & Fresh Zucchini Salad with Honeyed Yogurt
500g beef or lamb mince
3 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp sea salt
A few generous cracks of black pepper
Pinch chili flakes, to your taste
1 cup pearl (Israeli) couscous, dry
3 garlic cloves, crushed or finely grated
1½ cups beef or vegetable stock
2 large handfuls baby spinach or chopped swiss chard leaves
¼ cup sultanas
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh Zucchini & Roasted Almond Salad
1 large zucchini, roughly grated
1 small bunch fresh basil, finely chopped
1 small bunch fresh mint, finely chopped
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
½ cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped (you could also use toasted slivered almonds)
1 cup thick unsweetened Greek yoghurt
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tbs honey
Zest of 1 orange
Preheat oven to 170°C/340°F (fan forced). In a medium bowl add the beef mince, ground cumin, ground cardamom, salt, and some freshly cracked black pepper. Using your hands mix the spices through the mince completely. Form the mince into tbs sized balls. There should be roughly 20. Now place a large saucepan onto medium to high heat. Once the pan is hot add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the meatballs. Sear on high heat until browned. This will take roughly 4 minutes. Remove the balls from the pan and place them into a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl into the oven to finish cooking for 15 minutes. While the meatballs are cooking let's prepare the remaining elements.
Using paper towel remove any excess oil from the pan you just used. Add a sprinkling of chili flakes to your taste. Add the pearl couscous and crushed garlic and sauté for roughly 30 seconds. Add the stock and give the mixture a good stir. Place the lid on top of the pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and add the baby spinach and sultanas then stir to combine. Place the lid back on top and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
Grate the zucchini into a medium-sized bowl. Add the finely chopped mint and basil. Add the roughly chopped almonds, the lemon zest, and juice. Add some salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and stir to combine.
In a small bowl mix the yoghurt, cumin, and honey.
After 15 minutes remove the meatballs from the oven and also remove the lid from the couscous. If you're serving this dish individually divide the couscous, meatballs, and salad into 4 serving bowls.
Dollop with the honeyed yoghurt and top with orange zest and fresh mint leaves. To serve this in the pan, add the meatballs directly to the couscous, the salad alongside, and top with the yoghurt, orange zest and fresh mint leaves.