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Turkey Meatballs with Fava Bean Sauce

turkey meatballs in fava bean sauce  3_edited_edited.JPG

Here's my adaptation of one of Yotam Ottolenghi's delicious recipes from his "Jerusalem" cookbook. I serve it with fresh crusty bread, but you can also serve it with rice. Because I try to just use what produce is in season, this is the only time of year to make the fava bean sauce. Of course you can also use thawed frozen fava beans.

This recipe makes about 18 meatballs.

For the meatballs:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lb of ground turkey

3/4 cup of fresh breadcrumbs or panko

1 finely chopped medium onion

2 large garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons each of flat leaf parsley and mint, finely chopped

2 teaspoons capers, chopped

1 egg

3 teaspoons of ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:

1 1/2 lbs of fresh fava beans (in the pods)

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

3 sliced cloves of garlic

4 whole sprigs of thyme

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

6 green onions sliced into 1/2 inch length

1 cup of chicken broth

1 cup of water

2 teaspoons each of chopped mint and flat leaf parsley

freshly ground black pepper

Fava beans:

Remove the fava beans from their pods.

Bring water to a boil in a medium sized pot , then add the fava beans and blanch for 4 minutes. Drain the beans (save that water for watering plants!) and put them in a bowl of very cold water.

Squeeze and slip the beans from their skins and discard the skins. Put the beans in a small bowl.


Mix all of the meatball ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Form 18 balls from the mixture. In a large frying pan that has a lid, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add as many meatballs that the pan can accommodate without overcrowding. Saute the meatballs until they are brown on all sides, for about 7 minutes. If the pan isn't big enough, saute the meatballs in two batches. Remove the meatballs from the pan and put on a plate.


Using the same pan that you used to brown the meatballs, heat the 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Then add the garlic, thyme sprigs, and chopped green onion. Saute for a couple of minutes, then add the peeled fava beans, 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and as much black pepper as you like. The beans should be just about covered with the liquid. Lower the heat and cover the pan with the lid and simmer for about 7 minutes.

Add the cooked meatballs to the pan with the simmering fava bean sauce. Add the remaining chicken broth and a cup of water. Cover the pan again and simmer for about 25 minutes.

Although the sauce might look very liquidy remember that the meatballs will soak it up and you will need sauce!

Serve the meatballs with some torn mint leaves scattered over.

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