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Raisins add a sweetness to these Greek-inspired meatballs with yogurt sauce from Top Chef Richard Blais. You can use ground lamb, beef, turkey or chicken—whatever you have!


For the spice blend:
  • About 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • About 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • About 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • About 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • One pinch ground cinnamon
For the meatballs:
  • Olive oil
  • 3 to 5 leaves kale, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • About ½ cup green olives, chopped
  • About ¼ cup raisins
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 1 pound ground lamb, beef, turkey or chicken
  • Chopped fresh dill, for sprinkling
  • Sumac, for sprinkling (optional)
For the mint yogurt sauce:
  • About 1 cup yogurt or kefir
  • About 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • About 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • About 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • About 1 teaspoon granulated garlic


Serves: 4 to 6


For the spice blend, combine ingredients in a small bowl. 

In a pan, heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Add kale, olives, raisins, onion and fresh garlic and cook, stirring, until vegetables sweat a few minutes. Reduce heat to low, then stir in spice blend, season with salt and cook, stirring, a few minutes. Refrigerate kale mixture for about 10 minutes.

Place lamb in a mixing bowl, add the chilled kale mixture, season with salt, and mix until just combined. Shape into 2-inch meatballs and arrange on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. 

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350˚F. Make the yogurt sauce by combining ingredients in a small bowl. 

In an oven-proof pan, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Sear the meatballs until browned all over, then transfer to the oven to cook through, about 15 minutes. 

Once the meatballs are done, arrange on a serving platter, sprinkle with fresh dill and sumac, and serve with the yogurt sauce.