This last week I tried making a meatball recipe from the Jerusalem cookbook. It jumped out at me as something intriguing because the recipe’s actually located in the book’s “vegetables” section, since this is a type of meatball that’s supposed to feature the flavor of the veg much more strongly than the beef. It didn’t disappoint on that.
First, here’s a link to someone else’s experience making the same recipe (and the recipe itself). You know, in case you’d like to try making them yourself.
Second, here’s what mine looked like when I was finished:
Some important things to note: I don’t have a steaming pot, so I had to rig an impromptu solution to steam the leeks. My setup involved taking the steel mesh strainer that I usually use to wash rice for sushi and cradling it in my largest soup pot (it didn’t quite fit so the lid sat askew on top; either way, the leeks were good and steamed after twenty minutes). Even before that, I had to figure out exactly how much of the leeks get trimmed away (for anyone who’s never cooked with leeks before, they are huge and much of the greenery that tops them gets discarded; essentially you treat them like typical onions and only use the white part of the vegetable). Once I had that all squared away the rest of the process was pretty straightforward (except that I nearly burned myself with hot water a couple times when I was trying to press the extra moisture out of the leeks once they were done steaming). Ideally you’ll have at least half an hour to chill the meatballs once they’ve been mixed and shaped, but I was working on a slightly tighter deadline, so I only chilled for a couple minutes before I got down to searing and simmering.
All in all, the end product is quite delicious. It’s absolutely true that the lemon and leek are the dominant flavor in the meatballs. I think I’d like to try this recipe again in the future, but I have to say that it’s a lot of work up front; from prep to plate I probably spent ninety minutes cooking, and even with streamlining of labor, the recipe calls for roughly this amount of time investment. Definitely make sure you have the time to set aside if you want to try to make these meatballs for yourself.