Foodbridge, a blog featuring cross-cultural Middle Eastern recipes, was the source of this recipe. (See our review of Foodbridge here). It’s become a favorite dish in our house. Even the little ones will eat chard when it’s served with meatballs this way.
Include a piece of preserved lemon for even more flavor, if you have one. (And if you don’t, you can make preserved lemons now with our recipe – lemon season is on.)
Turkish Meatballs with Swiss Chard
1 bunch of swiss chard, washed
500 grams – 1 lb. ground turkey or beef
1 onion, grated
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried, crushed herbs: sage, rosemary, oregano, thyme – alone or in any combination.
Juice of 1 lemon or 1/2 preserved lemon, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 cup water or chicken stock
1 cup white wine
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 small bunch scallions
Cut away the hard white stem of the Swiss chard leaves. Reserve them. Put the green leaves in a large pan without any added water. Cook, covered, over low heat till they wilt.
Allow the greens to cool and chop them finely.
Into a bowl, put the meat, egg, onion, chopped chard greens, bread crumbs and spices. Mix, then knead till you have a firm, well-blended mix.
Prepare a skillet with a little oil on the bottom. Fry the meatballs for 5 minutes on each side, just enough to make them hold together and to give them a good brown color. Remove the meatballs to a plate and set aside.
Dissolve the cornstarch in a little water. To the still-hot frying pan, add 1 cup white wine and stir, loosening up any bits of meat. Add the dissolved cornstarch and stir, 1 minute.
Cut the white part of the chard stems into finger-sized pieces.
In a large pan, fry the garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes and add the lemon juice or the preserved lemon. Add the meatballs, white wine/cornstarch mixture, and chard stems. Add the 1 cup water or stock, and more if needed to cover the meatballs.
Cook, covered, 20 minutes or until the meatballs are done.
Uncover the pot and cook the liquid down to thicken it.
Chop the scallions and scatter them over the meatballs just before bringing them to the table. Serve with rice.
More delicious Middle-Eastern recipes from Green Prophet:
Photo of Turkish meatballs with Swiss chard by Miriam Kresh.
Miriam also writes a food blog.