Zaatar Meatballs with Tzarziki Sauce for dipping

Zaatar Meatballs

By Chef Lippe

Traditionally, zaatar is mixed with olive oil and baked on a flat bread for breakfast in the Middle East.  Zaatar is believed to help keep the mind alert and the body strong.  I have made party meat balls and served it with a Greek cucumber yogurt dip called Tzarziki.

Zaatar is a spice mix which includes a mixture of sumac, thyme, sesame seeds, some mixes also include marjoram, oregano, coriander, fennel and cumin.  Zaatar is not a strong spice but has a nice lemon tang from the sumac.  Zaatar Meatballs served either warm or room temperature with the Greek yogurt dip called tzarziki make a nice summer party appetizer.  Zaatar is not a strong spice, but it has a nice tang from the sumac.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground lamb (can substitute ground turkey or beef)
1 egg
4 tablespoons bread crumbs
1/2 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 teaspoons zaatar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and mix gently. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (or longer) to allow flavors to meld. Make small meatballs about 1” in diameter. Heat ½ cup water in deep saucepan and gently place meatballs in pan, cook until water is evaporated, turning meatballs after a few minutes to color all sides. While meatballs are cooking heat oil in a skillet, remove meatballs from water and brown and cook through in hot oil.

For a fancy party skewer a fresh mint leave and meatball and arrange on platter around a bowl of tzatziki sauce to use for dipping.

Tzatzki Dipping sauce (make in the morning or day before)

4 cups plain Greek yogurt

1 medium cucumber, peeled and coarsely grated

4 cloves of garlic crushed

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon dill weed


Directions

Place a piece of cheesecloth in a colander and pour in the yogurt, allow to drain for several hours. Mix in grated cucumber and allow to drain for a few more hours. Mix in garlic, olive oil and dill and refrigerate until needed. This will keep well for 2 or 3 days if stored in a covered dish in the refrigerator.

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2 Comments

Filed under Chef Lippe, meatballs, recipes, Zaatar

2 responses to “Zaatar Meatballs with Tzarziki Sauce for dipping

  1. Mmmm, looks delicious! 🙂

  2. I think my keyboard just shorted out. I bet a bib would help to stop the drool.

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