Lamb Meatballs with Lemon Tahini Dip

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I love the flavour of tahini - it's kind of nutty, which is great for those of us that can't eat nuts. It's made by blending sesame seeds into a paste, and it gives hummus its beautiful sweet, earthy flavour. You only need a little bit in a recipe, and it'll reward you with rich, nutty flavour.

Lamb meatballs with lemon tahini dip

Lemon goes really well with tahini, and so does lamb. So do artichokes. So I had the inspiration, at about 2am one morning when I was lying in bed, wide-eyed at the dark ceiling, wondering what to do with a packet of minced lamb I had in the freezer. I had artichoke hearts in the cupboard, lemons in the fridge and tahini. This was going to be a beautiful thing, I told myself, as I dozed back off to sleep and hoped I'd remember it in the morning. 

I did. 

Lamb meatballs with lemon tahini dip

I hope you love it as much as we did. 

Lamb Meatballs with Lemon Tahini Dip
Serves 4
For the meatballs
400g lamb mince
salt and pepper

For the dip
3 canned artichoke hearts
quarter teaspoon garlic salt
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp tahini paste
juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt, to taste

First, mix the lamb mince with a pinch each of salt and pepper (nice and simple, this one) and roll into small, golf-club-sized balls. Place the meatballs on a foil-lined baking sheet and slide into an oven, preheated to gas mark 6/200ºC/400ºF. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the lamb meatballs are cooked through and sizzling. 

To make the tahini dip, blend together the canned artichoke hearts, garlic salt, extra virgin olive oil, tahini paste, lemon juice and parsley. You should have a smooth, thick, but just pourable dressing. Have a taste and add more lemon juice or salt if you think it needs it. 

Once the meatballs are cooked, serve them with the dip, alongside olives, more lemon for squeezing over and Little Gem lettuce leaves to wrap them up in. 

Note: the dip goes well with pretty much anything - perfect with roast chicken or any leftover cold meats. I ate some the next day with some roasted sweet potato chunks and it was lovely. Store any leftover dip in the fridge, covered, and use up within 2-3 days. 

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