Lamb Meatballs with Swiss Chard and Feta

2011 Jul/Aug



  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 t. dried mint
  • 1/2 t. dried chile flakes
  • 1 t. sumac (available in Middle Eastern groceries)
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. fennel pollen
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese, finely grated

Swiss chard:

  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard, blanched and chopped
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 t. sumac
  • 1/2 c. young sheep feta
  • pomegranate molasses to drizzle
  • toasted pine nuts


Preheat the oven to 450°F. Combine meatball ingredients gently until thoroughly combined, roll into 1-inch balls and set aside. Preheat a cast iron pan over high heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and sear the meatballs until well browned. Transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking the meatballs. 

In a medium saucepan, blanch the Swiss chard until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain, chop finely and reserve. Return the pan to the heat, melt the butter, and add the Swiss chard, followed by the cream and sumac. Stir to combine. Reduce the sauce by half, until slightly thickened and shiny. Turn the heat off, add the feta, and stir until just melted. 

When the meatballs are done, remove them from the oven and drain off any extra fat. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and finish with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses and a sprinkling of pine nuts. Serves 4.