Savory Lamb Meatballs with Raisin Pesto

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Yield: 4 servings


Raisins in the pesto delivers just the right amount of sweetness to complement the lamb.


2 cups mint leaves

3 tablespoons golden raisins

1 cup parsley leaves with tender stems, plus 1/4 cup finely chopped

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, divided

11/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more

1 large egg

1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 pound ground lamb

Flatbread and whole-milk Greek yogurt (for serving)


Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 425°. Purée mint, raisins, 1 cup parsley leaves, 1/2 cup oil, 1 garlic clove, and a big pinch of salt in a blender until smooth; taste and adjust seasoning. Set pesto aside.

Combine egg, panko, cumin, red pepper, turmeric, 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley, 11/2 tsp. salt, and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl. Finely grate remaining garlic clove into bowl. Add lamb and mix with your hands until evenly distributed.

Gently roll lamb mixture into 11/2″ balls, about the size of a golf ball (it’s okay if they’re not perfectly round). Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, spacing evenly. Roast meatballs until browned and lamb is cooked through, 8-10 minutes.

Divide pesto and meatballs among bowls. Serve with flatbread and yogurt alongside.

Do Ahead: Raisin pesto can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Uncooked meatballs can be made 2 months ahead. Freeze on baking sheet until solid, about 2 hours, then transfer to a large freezer bag and keep frozen.