Lamb Meatballs with Pomegranate Glaze – a tasty holiday appetizer!

Armenian Christmas is almost here!
Two recipes which are must-haves for Armenian Christmas Eve and Armenian Christmas Day include Nevik (spelling varies!) and Anoush Abour.

Nevik, an Armenian Christmas Eve specialty
Anoush Abour, literally meaning ‘sweet soup’ which is traditionally served on Armenian Christmas Day – January 6th.

For a delicious addition to your celebration menu – or anytime, you might like to try these lamb meatballs with pomegranate glaze as an appetizer. This recipe was adapted from one found in the NY Times. For a little something extra, prepare a minty-yogurt sauce to serve as a dip.

The Armenian Kitchen wishes you and yours, Shnorhavor Nor Dari yev Soorp Dznount – Happy New Year and Merry Christmas!

Lamb Meatballs with Pomegranate Glaze (Photo from the NY Times)

Lamb Meatballs with Pomegranate Glaze

1 pound ground lamb
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1 to 2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. dried mint, crushed
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
 Olive oil, for cooking
Glaze: 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (sold in Middle Eastern stores, or you can make your own)
Garnish: finely chopped fresh mint, parsley, and/or pomegranate arils, if desired
In a large bowl, gently mix together the lamb, garlic, lemon zest and juice, crushed dried
mint, salt, and pepper until combined. Form into 1-inch meatballs.
Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high
heat. Arrange meatballs so that they are not touching. Cook on all sides until
browned on the surface and cooked through in the center. (About 7-10 minutes.)
NOTE: If meatballs begin to get too brown, reduce heat to prevent burning.
Place cooked meatballs on a paper towel-lined plate to remove any excess grease.
Arrange meatballs on a serving dish and brush with pomegranate molasses. 
Garnish with chopped mint, parsley, and/or pomegranate arils, if desired. 
Serve using frilly toothpicks for a festive touch!

Minty Yogurt Sauce
(Make this at least one hour before serving so that flavors can combine.)

3/4 cup plain yogurt
dash of kosher salt
3 Tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped, or 1 tsp. dried mint, crushed

Mix the ingredients together until blended. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
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