Lamb Meatballs + Eggplant Dip + Cucumber Salad

Okay, there’s a lot going on in the title, I know. But trust me, it’s not that bad.

This dish came together very nicely; it is fresh and so filling.

The eggplant dip is something I’ve been making with my family since childhood. A favorite in our family and probably a favorite with most Eastern Europeans.

As a kid, I was always involved in the kitchen. I was often tasked to make the mayonnaise, from scratch, for this eggplant dip. My grandma would bake fresh bread and the anticipation to spread the dip on a warm slice of bread was killing me, every time!

A fresh tomato from the garden and a few slices of cucumber made this a great meal, appetizer and/or snack. Oh, the memories…

Meatballs were also a great addition to this mix of eggplant, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Here, I decided to switch it up a tad by making them with Lamb instead of Beef, like I’m used to. I didn’t add any tomato to this dish but mixed the cucumbers and onions with vinegar for a little acidity and great taste.

It came out great; fresh, crunchy and delicious. Healthy, too, of course!

Let me know what you think and I hope you enjoy!

Lamb Meatballs + Eggplant Dip + Cucumber Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • ¼ cup oil (I prefer olive oil)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ cup mayo (I used Avocado Oil Mayo)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 lb ground Lamb
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 5 medium mint leaves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of Pilpelchuma Seasoning Blend (or a pinch each of chili, garlic, cayenne, paprika, cumin, black pepper and caraway)
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 3 Persian cucumbers chopped
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Toasted pine nuts

Preparation of the Eggplant Dip

  1. Roast the eggplant in the oven at 400 degrees for about 35-40 minutes. You can also grill them until nice and soft.
  2. Chop the onion and saute in the oil until translucent. Add the chopped garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  3. Peel the eggplant and mash until smooth OR place into a food processor for a few seconds.
  4. Mix the eggplant with the onion/garlic/oil mixture, add mayo, mustard, salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation of the Lamb Meatballs and Cucumber Salad

  1. I mixed the meat with the spices (not the salt) and refrigerated it for about 8 hours. I did this before I left for work.
  2. Remove from the refrigerator and let the meat come to room temperature.
  3. Add the mint, egg, garlic, bread crumbs, salt and mix well.
  4. Form small to medium meatballs and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. You will have somewhere between 15-20 meatballs.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees. Turn them once during baking for an even golden/browned color.
  6. While the meatballs are cooking, mix together the cucumbers, onions, vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to serve.

Plating tips: Place a desired amount of the eggplant dip in the bottom of a plate. Top with meatballs, Cucumber salad, toasted pine nuts and mint garnish.


Recipe written and tested by Hannah Hiller of Detroitisforfoodies.com

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2 thoughts on “Lamb Meatballs + Eggplant Dip + Cucumber Salad

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