Lamb with artichokes

Roasted lamb meatballs with artichokes, lemon-oil marinade with mint and dill

Recipe by chef Nena Ismirnoglou, Messinian Gastronomy Seminars 2014


Lemon and oil marinade with mint and dill. Beat all ingredients in a Thermomix except for the xanthan gum and the aromatic herbs. Add xanthan gum and beat for another 2 minutes on speed 3. The marinade can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Cut and add aromatic herbs 10 minutes before serving. Combine well.

Fresh onions. Put onions in a large shallow dish and drizzle with olive oil and lemon. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well so olive oil goes everywhere and set aside to prepare the meatballs. Alternatively, cover and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Meatballs. Place all ingredients in a large ball and knead with wet hands for 6-7 minutes. The more we knead, the juicier and softer the meatballs will be. Cover and place mixture in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Baby Artichokes. In a saucepan boil salted water. Add artichokes and lemon. Depending on the size of artichokes, boil for 3-5 minutes and strain. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium temperature. Add garlic. Once hot, add artichokes and salt. Sauté artichokes until golden brown on all sides. Remove artichokes and place them in a bowl layered with paper towel to absorb olive oil. Mix cherry tomatoes with salt, pepper and tomato lemon-olive oil marinade.

Serving. Form small round meatballs. Grill each side for about 3 minutes or until brown. Strain onions. Keep the juice from the onions in the bowl and place them there again once cooked. Grill onions on both sides until brown for a couple of minutes. Place meatballs in plates and pour over tomato sauce and herb sprigs. On the side of the plate, pour a couple of tablespoons of lemon-olive oil sauce, and add the artichokes and fresh onions. Serve. 

See chef Nena Ismirnoglou cooking the recipe here.


Lamb meatballs

  • 500 g minced meat (lamb leg and brisket)
  • 1 medium-sized onion, grated
  • 3 slices of sourdough bread, crusts removed (soaked in water and squeezed out excess water)
  • 1/3 cup of finely chopped parsley
  • freshly ground pepper
  • salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dry ground coriander
  • 30 ml ouzo
  • 45 ml olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, washed, dried and finely cut
  • 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram leaves, washed, dried and finely cut
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, washed, dried and finely cut
  • ½ cup crushed ice

·12 wild baby artichokes, cleaned and cut into half (do not cut tender part of stem)

  • 70 ml lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly
  • 60 ml olive oil


Lemon-oil marinade with mint and dill

  • 150 g yoghurt from lamb milk
  •  60 ml goat milk
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • 15 ml lemon juice
  • 15 ml red wine vinegar
  • 15 ml ouzo
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest (organic and non-waxed lemon)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dill, finely chopped

4 shallot onions with their green leaves, cleaned

  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 15 ml lemon juice

8 cherry tomatoes, washed and cut in quarters

  • 4 tablespoons from tomato lemon-oil marinade (see omelet recipe)
  • fresh herb sprigs