Loaded Lamb Meatballs with Eggplant Hummus

. May, 2016
Photography by Sarah Tuck.
Loaded Lamb Meatballs with Eggplant Hummus

I love layered flavours and textures that work like magic together. This dish does exactly that with spiced meatballs, garlicky eggplant hummus, crunchy cumin-spiked pine nuts and fresh zingy herbs.

Serves: 6


3 slices white toast bread, crusts removed, roughly torn
⅓ cup milk
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
½ cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3–4 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 red onion, half roughly chopped and half finely sliced
1 egg
1 kilogram lamb mince
olive oil spray
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve
Eggplant Hummus (recipe below)
2 cups Greek yoghurt
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 red onion, finely sliced
200 grams soft goat's feta, crumbled
½ cup coriander leaves
½ cup mint leaves
6–8 flatbreads

Eggplant Hummus
2 small eggplants, total weight 600 grams
1 x 400 gram tin cooked chickpeas, drained
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper



Put bread and milk in a small dish to soak. Heat olive oil in a small frying pan and cook pine nuts and cumin seeds together for 3–4 minutes until lightly golden and fragrant.

Put bread and milk in a food processor and add spices, garlic, chilli flakes, lemon zest, roughly chopped onion and egg. Whiz to combine, add lamb mince and pulse to mix together.

Lastly, add half of the pine nuts and cumin seed mixture and pulse again briefly. Season with salt and pepper then tip into a container, cover and refrigerate for half an hour.

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Roll into 24 large golf ball-sized balls and refrigerate again.

Line an oven tray with baking paper. Put meatballs on the lined tray and lightly spray with oil then bake for 20 minutes, turning once during cooking. Rest the meatballs for 3–4 minutes while the flatbreads heat in the oven, and serve with Eggplant Hummus (recipe below) yoghurt, a drizzle of pomegranate molasses, finely sliced red onion, feta, fresh herbs and the remainder of the pine nuts and cumin seeds. 

Eggplant Hummus

Heat oven to 210°C and line an oven tray with baking paper. Wash and dry eggplants well then poke 7–8 slits in each eggplant with a small sharp knife.

Place on the prepared tray and cook in the hot oven 40–45 minutes until easily pierced with a knife. Trim off stems and chop into large chunks.

Put remaining ingredients in a food processor, add eggplant and whiz to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve drizzled with a little extra olive oil.