Lamb Meatballs with Orange Date Glaze and Pistachios

By savorthis
February 26, 2017
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Author Notes:

Ground lamb is a staple in our house as it is so easy to turn into a quick, delicious weekday meal. And I often pair meat + sweet by serving it spiced (usually a cumin, coriander situation) with a sauce or glaze of sorts. Dates and oranges are a perfect choice to go with these spices so I decided to do a spiced meatball with a date, orange glaze. Having a giant bag of salt and pepper pistachios gave me the idea to roll the meatballs in the crushed nuts and altogether it made for a delightful appetizer. My daughter was temporarily disappointed to find out they were not actually chocolate truffles but soon cleared her plate.


Makes: 24

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/3 cup onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup orange or tangerine juice
  • 1/2 cup date syrup
  • 3/4 cup shelled pistachios
  1. Heat oven to 350°. Heat the oil in a pan and cook onions over medium heat until beginning to brown. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant. Add coriander, cumin, salt and some fresh pepper and cook a minute longer. Add spice mixture to lamb and mix well. I usually cook a small sample to test for seasoning. Form into bite-sized meatballs, place on a baking sheet and cook in the oven about 10 minutes or until cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile heat date syrup and orange juice in a pan over medium heat until it gets foamy and thickens to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
  3. Pulse nuts in a food processor or crush in a mortar and pestle and place in a pie plate or rimmed plate.
  4. Add the meatballs to the glaze and stir until coated. Spoon the meatballs onto the nuts and toss to coat. Serve right away, offering sriracha or other hot sauce if desired. (Meatballs and glaze can be made ahead of time. Heat glaze and meatballs together and toss in the nuts right before serving).

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