Feeding small children can be complicated, sometimes they want to try new things, sometimes they don’t —inexplicably, out of the blue, they suddenly go off something that was always a favourite in the past, and you’re stumped. So, I try and cover the bases by giving them options — something new, something familiar and lots of things to choose from, very much a mezze-style plate idea. This is less a recipe then, and more a compilation. You can prepare the meatballs in advance too and store it in the fridge until you are ready to cook.
(yields about 18-20 meatballs)
500 g lamb (or pork) mince
1 tsp of cumin seeds (or ground)
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp lemon zest and juice
1 tsp finely chopped garlic.
A pinch of chili (optional)
Any soft green leafy herbs (parsley, dill, oregano or mint)
Handful of breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
Greek yoghurt ( for dressing)
Get 500g go good quality lamb mince either from your butcher or try to support a farmer and buy from them directly. Ed at Perry Wood Farm is excellent and you can buy his meat at the Local to Ludlow shop every Thursday at the moment. Or Tudge at Richard’s Castle is also currently offering a collection service.
Add in roughly a tsp of cumin seeds (or ground), fennel seeds, lemon zest and juice, finely chopped garlic. A pinch of chili is optional.
Any soft leafy herbs you have on hand can be torn up and added to the mix such as parsley, dill, oregano and mint.
Throw in a handful of breadcrumbs if you have them, and an egg helps to bind the crumbs. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix really well and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours — enough for all the ingredients to marry.
To cook heat oil in a frying pan and fry in batches until golden brown and turning occasionally until cooked through for around 6-7 mins (keep warm in the oven until ready to serve)
Serve in a bowl accompanied with pita/flatbreads and anything the kids may like such as a selection of: salad, finely chopped tomato, grated carrot, or roasted onions (although a bit niche it is delicious with pomegranate molasses)
I recommend a bit of herby yogurt dressing which in my house seems to go with everything and is easy to whip up. It’s greek yogurt, lots of chopped leafy green herbs, lemon, salt and pepper to taste and a blob or two of good olive oil.
I put everything in different bowls on the table, along with the flatbreads and it’s pick and mix for the kids. Sometimes they want to try it all, sometimes just one or two things, but it doesn’t really matter — it’s the beauty of having a choice.