Recipe Details

Barberries - a small, dried, tart  fruit - add a sweet and sour twist to this Eastern Mediterranean take on the traditional Italian meatball.  

This recipe was developed for the Flavor Forecast: Looking Back to Look Forward.


Mint Yogurt

  1. In a bowl combine yogurt, mint, dill, salt and coriander. Mix well and hold refrigerated for service.


  1. Set oven to 350°F. Heat first amount of oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions, first amount of barberries, garlic powder, allspice, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Sauté until tender. Remove from pan and cool.
  2. In a bowl combine lamb, egg, panko and cooled onion mixture. Mix until ingredients are evenly distributed. Use a #16 scoop to portion into balls. Place on parchment lined sheet tray and bake until an internal temperature of 165°F is reached.
  3. Heat second amount of oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until caramelized. Add diced tomatoes, stock, pomegranate molasses, sugar, second amount of barberries and cinnamon. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add meatballs to pan. Reduce heat and simmer until meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Hold hot for service or cool completely and reheat for service.


  1. For each serving, plate 5 hot meatballs with sauce as desires. Top with 1/4 cup of mint yogurt and garnish with additional barberries if desired. Serve hot.


Use these meatballs in place of traditional meatballs on a meatball sub with the mint yogurt and some crumbled feta cheese.