Flecked with coriander, cinnamon, and cumin, lamb meatballs rest on a bed of dill, parsley, and mint in this composed salad that takes cues from Middle Eastern cuisine. Serve them with a swipe of labneh and quick-pickled red onions and golden raisins—and enjoy the culinary journey. This recipe is featured in the cookbook Salad Freak: Recipes to Feed a Healthy Obsession ($26.99, amazon.com).

Martha Stewart Living, March 2022


Credit: Linda Pugliese

Recipe Summary

Serves 2 to 4


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine onion, raisins, and vinegar and let soak, tossing every now and then so everything gets vinegary. Put coriander and cumin seeds in a skillet and cook over medium heat, shaking skillet around a lot quite vigorously to move them around. When they start to smell fragrant and toasty, after a minute or two, transfer to a mortar and pestle, spice grinder, or cutting board. Crush them up just a bit and transfer to a large bowl.

  • Add Aleppo pepper, cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and ground lamb to bowl with spices. Chop leaves from parsley and half of mint and dill; add to bowl. Add breadcrumbs and egg and grate in 1 clove garlic; use your hands to mix and combine. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Divide mixture into 12 balls and put on sheet.

  • Bake 12 to 15 minutes for medium (about 145°F on an instant-read thermometer). Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine cucumbers, pickled-onion mixture, and 1 handful each parsley and mint leaves. Season with salt and black pepper and drizzle with a little oil.

  • Put labneh in another bowl; grate in remaining 1 clove garlic and zest of lemon. Season with Aleppo pepper and salt. Swoop mixture onto your serving plate or platter with the back of a spoon. Top with salad and meatballs. Cut zested lemon into wedges and serve alongside.

Cook's Notes

Excerpted from the new book Salad Freak: Recipes to Feed a Healthy Obsession ($26.99, amazon.com), by Jess Damuck, published by Abrams. Text © 2022 by Jess Damuck. Photography by Linda Pugliese.