Grilled Merguez Meatballs

A note from the Chef Cheryl Forberg, RD: This recipe is an adaptation from the original by Chef Melissa Clark of the New York Times. I have shaped this traditional Middle Eastern sausage into small meatballs that I like to cook on the grill. I serve them with grilled mini pita bread, hummus, thinly sliced cucumber, and grape tomatoes. 

Yield: 16 meatballs

Ingredients:Grilled Lamb Merguez Meatballs

  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Olive oil to brush on meatballs before grilling

Heat a small saute pan over medium heat. Add cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds. Toast until fragrant (about 1 minute). Grind spices well using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Form lamb mixture into sixteen 1-ounce meatballs. The recipe can be prepared up to this point 48 hours ahead of time.

Meatballs can be skewered or brushed lightly with olive oil and placed directly on the grill. Cook until browned, but still juicy. Serve with your favorite Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon!

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