Spicy Lamb Meatballs with White Bean Dip
Makes about 2½ dozen
For the lamb:
1 pound ground lamb
¼ cup finely chopped scallions
¼ cup plain dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon chili powder
For the dip
1 fat garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped, seeded preserved lemon (see "Etc." below)
1 tablespoon orange juice, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
1 (14-ounce) can drained cannellini beans
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
For the dip
1. In a food processor, pulse together the garlic, preserved lemon, orange juice, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Add the beans, another pinch of salt, and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary, adding more lemon, orange, or salt. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Drizzle with more oil before serving.
For the lamb
1. Preheat the broiler. Arrange an oven rack 3-inches from the heat. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush it lightly with oil.
2. In a large bowl, combine the lamb, scallions, breadcrumbs, cilantro, egg, garlic, salt, cumin, and chili powder. Pull off a large chunk of the lamb mixture and roll it, like a dough, into a 1-inch-thick rope. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining lamb. Cut each rope into 2-inch lengths. Brush with oil.
3. Transfer baking sheet to the oven and broil until meat is golden and firm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Arrange lamb fingers on a platter and serve hot with dip.
If you don't have preserved lemons on hand, try this simple yogurt dip instead: In a small bowl, combine ½ cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, ½ teaspoon lime zest, 1 teaspoon lime juice, 1 finely chopped garlic clove and a pinch of salt. Taste and adjust seasonings. Chill, covered, until ready to use.
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